Patricia Newell-Dunkley photographs Reginald J.Dunkley.

Greetings from down under where summer is rushing in and the temperatures are already soaring. Now is the time to go surfing and enjoy the special delights of the beach, and all that goes with it.

Australia’s surf beaches, where first-class waves for all surfing abilities crash, are born from the Pacific Ocean in the East, the Indian Ocean in the West, and the Southern Ocean in the South. Each State has their own special beaches and followers of their favourites, and here is a roundup of those.

For folks visiting Melbourne, head south west to the Bellarine Peninsular before Torquay, which is the gateway to Victoria. Surf coast on the Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach is home to the annual Rip Curl Pro Surf and music Festival Bird Rock. For more gentle waves Jan Juc, Point Impossible, and Point Danger, are the places to go. You can learn to surf or Boogie Board at Anglesea and Fairhaven. The surf is always good in Apollo Bay and on Shipwreck Coast, and there are great surf beaches at Warrnambool, Port Fairy, and Portland. South east of Melbourne you can head to the back beaches of The Mornington Peninsular or to Phillip Island.

img_2437In Sydney New South Wales, you can choose easy-to-reach ocean beaches a bus ride from the city centre. Learn to surf at Bondi, one of Sydney’s most visited beaches and well-known worldwide and featured on more post cards and television shows than any other in Australia. Further on is Tamarama, Bronte, or Maroubra. North of the harbour bridge you can surf at Manly which is another popular suburban beach and reached by ferry from Circular Quay. Seven miles from Sydney and a million miles from care is what they say, and it is a delightful cruise. Then there is Queenscliff, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Narrabeen, Avalon and the Iconic Palm Beach which is filmed and featured in “Summer Bay” from “Home and Away”

On the Central Coast north of Sydney you will find Avoca Beach, Terrigal, Shelly Beach, and Newcastle. Further north is Crescent Head and Angourie surfing reserve before the breaks of Byron Bay. South of Sydney, visit The Royal National Park or the many surfing gems around Cronulla, and continue south to Port Kembla, Killalea State Park and Jervis Bay.

Jervis Bay has the world’s whitest sand beaches and Hyams Beach is listed in the “Guinness Book of Records” for just that. The area is rich in Aboriginal Heritage and teeming with native Australian wildlife on land and sea. Booderee National Park is owned by The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and has always been a significant place for the Koon Indigenous people. “Booderee” is an aboriginal word meaning “Bay of plenty”. Jervis Bay is known for its best land-based game fishing spots for giant marlin in the world.

img_2460In Queensland discover waves on the Gold Coast, a surfer’s paradise. You can ride some of the world’s longest waves at Snapper Rocks Super Bank near Coolangatta. Travelling north, stop in Currumbin, Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads, Nobby Beach, Mermaid Beach and Broad Beach. Learn to surf on North Stradbroke Island or paddle to South Stradbroke across the Gold Coast seaway. From Brisbane, the secluded surf beaches of Bribie and Moreton Islands beckon. Enjoy the clean, uncrowded waves of the Sunshine Coast in Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Coolum Beach, and Noosa Head. In Noosa the pristine beaches are fringed by beautiful bushland.

I will visit Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania in our next instalment on surfing beaches.

Here at Shelly Beach I had a visit from a flock of at least twenty pure white Cockatoos, they filled the sky like a white cloud and landed in the garden amid the lorikeets that were very put out by the intrusion. I hastily threw more wild bird seed around and managed to keep all the birds happy. Pixie the Pomeranian was more than intrigued by the invasion and watched the ‘goings on’ with great interest. Holiday-makers from the country are arriving already and The Central Coast of N.S.W. is a hub of activity, with Christmas just around the corner.

For those looking for a new pastime I suggest my book “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain”, this fascinating art form is extremely satisfying, and an introduction to a whole new world. Those wanting to travel to U.K. should avail themselves of my book “Letters of a Travelling Lady” which is full of surprises and wonderful places to visit. “Wallis the Woman I Love” is a true love story of a King who gave up his throne for love. Enjoy!