Photographer at sunrise at Mistral Point
Looking for a great place to experience year-round waves? Then look no further than Maroubra Beach. Located on the south side of Sydney’s eastern suburbs between Mistral Point in the north and Magic Point to the south, this 1km stretch of sand is easily the most consistent beach in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.
Sunrise at Mistral Point (this print is available in our online print gallery)
Maroubra Beach SLSC tower
Maroubra is patrolled daily throughout the year by two main surf lifesaving clubs – Maroubra SLSC (which was established in 1907, making it one of Australia’s oldest), and South Maroubra SLSC (formed in 1963). Based on Surf Life Saving Australia data it’s one of Sydney's most hazardous beaches, with combined rescues from both clubs averaging 365 rescues each year - the highest number of rescues out of all NSW beaches.
Solid wave breaking behind Mahon Pool
Maroubra is an Aboriginal name which is believed to mean ‘like thunder’, possibly a reference to the pounding surf that can be found here (or perhaps the locals?). Due to its working class roots and a large local surfing scene, Maroubra is a rather localised beach and home to the infamous 'Bra Boys' who are protective of their waves. That being said it's still possible to get waves as long as you show the usual respect to locals and accept that you're not going to get every wave you want. The waves are quite powerful and the beach usually has strong rips, so make sure you know how to swim before venturing out – you don’t want to be a part of the statistics!
Heavy wave breaking at the northern end
Maroubra is a predominately sand bottom beach with pockets of reef in the northern and southern corners. Facing due east, it picks up all available swell regardless of the time of year – in winter big south swells march in which makes the reef at the southern end light up, and it is also semi-protected from the strong southerly winds. In summer NE swells trickle in and the northern corner is semi-protected by the prevailing NE winds, making it a popular place to go for a paddle when everywhere else is blown out. In my experience, the best time to surf the beach is medium to large E-NE swells with NW-SW winds.
Large wave peeling off Dunny Bowl
There are quality waves to be had up and down the beach, and locals have affectionately named each of these distinct breaks for obvious reasons – running from north to south you’ve got The Point, Dunnybowl (named courtesy of a drain pipe that protrudes from the beach), Stromies, Skatepark (there’s a huge skatepark that backs onto the beach), Southies and The Reef in the southern end.
Looking south along Maroubra Beach
Maroubra became the country’s first National Surfing Reserve in 2006, forever cementing its position as one of the most important stretches of coastline to have an impact on surfing in Australia. When you consider the other more famous Australian surf breaks like Kirra, Bells and even Margaret River, this was no small feat. If you get a chance to visit the northern promenade, you will see a commemorative plaque and the surfers' walk of fame, which is a collection of bronze statues recognising local surfers, lifesavers, kayakers, Olympians and others who’ve made a huge impact on the local an international surfing scene.
Beach access trail at the southern end
Don’t worry, there’s still plenty for you to do! If you’re an exercise buff, there’s a free outdoor gym complete with weight machines, upright bike, step-ups, chest press, and a balance beam. If you’re into fishing you can go off the rocks at either end, or find a gutter along the beach and try your luck.
Large swell lines rolling into Maroubra Beach
If diving’s your thing there are a couple of shipwrecks off the southern end of the beach – the SS Tekapo and the TSS Belbowrie - that are popular locations for dive boats and freedivers. Off Magic Point in the south is a known Grey Nurse Shark habitat which draws lots of people each year. Being an endangered species, you should treat these creatures with extra special care and only go with experienced crews who know the area. In the north is the Jack Vanny Memorial Park, which gives sweeping views of the coast both north and south, and the main attraction here is Mahon Pool – a rockpool popular with locals and visitors alike - safe for the whole family and provides some solace from the strong winter southerly winds.
Heaving barrel goes unridden at Maroubra Beach
To the south is the Malabar Headland National Park, which is a great place to spend a couple of hours walking along the clifftops and checking out old World War 2 bunkers. And if all that’s not enough, there’s an excellent enclosed children’s playground in the middle of the beach, bbq and shower/toilet facilities, plus a large range of café and kiosk options in nearby McKeon Street. Oh, and how did I forget the pub?! You can’t have a beach without a pub, and luckily there's one just across the road from the beach that’s popular with locals and visitors. There’s not much night life in Maroubra and limited accommodation options, but it’s a great place to visit for the day for the entire family.
Southern end of Maroubra Beach
Looking north along Maroubra Beach
Northern end of Maroubra Beach
Many rock fisherman are swept off Maroubra rock ledges each year, take care
Maroubra Beach is only a 30 minute bus ride from Sydney’s CBD. You can get the 376 or 377 bus directly to the beach, and buses operate 7 days a week (coming every 15 mins or so). There’s no trains to the beach, which is a good thing as it helps keeps the numbers down. If you’re driving simply follow Maroubra Road until you get to Marine Parade, and try to find a park in one of many car parks right along the beach, or in one of the back streets.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Maroubra was my local surfing beach for around 10 years, and if you can manage to get a wave to yourself it's pretty decent, by far the most consistent in the eastern suburbs and a good spot to check in the summer months when swell and winds aren't so favourable.
All photos in this article are available for purchase in various sizes as high resolution acrylic glass or canvas prints, and are available for licensing purposes for media and marketing/promotional material. The photos you see here have been compressed for optimal online user experience, which means we've intentionally reduced the file size and quality of each image to ensure the pages you visit load faster.
Any printed reproduction of the photos you see on OZBEACHES would be done using the original 20+ megabyte RAW files, with the additional layer of having a professional graphic designer personally inspect each image and optimise for print. The OZBEACHES watermark would be removed and would not be visible on your print. If you have any questions about this process, please email me (Adam) and let me know which photo you're interested in by quoting the caption beneath it. Alternatively you can check out our featured images in the print gallery.
If you think Maroubra Beach is a place you'd like to visit with your friends, why not share this article with them via one of the social links below. I want to help people (including you!) find their dream Australian beach, and the more information we share together will ultimately help us all in achieving that goal. I hope you enjoy your search.