Jump into a playground full of activities
With so many excursions and adventures on offer, the area where New South Wales meets Queensland gives surfers the opportunity to experience two very different sides of Australia. There’s the laidback beauty of Byron Bay, which is perfect for horse rides on the beach or paragliding over the Pacific Ocean shoreline, and then there’s the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast with its bars, restaurants and 35-mile stretch of white-sand surf beaches.
Sitting in between the two on Cabarita Beach, Halycon House is a former surf motel that’s been given a boutique makeover by two sisters who fell in love with the property a few years ago. In fact, they’ve done such a good job of decorating this Instagram-worthy place, guests might find it difficult to drag themselves away. Vintage pieces and bespoke furniture, blue-and-white stripe sun loungers by the beachfront pool, and fine dining restaurant Paper Daisy provide plenty of eye candy. When you aren’t reaching for your camera, you can grab a McTavish surfboard and attend a lesson, go kayaking, take part in some early morning yoga, glide above Mt Warning in a hot-air balloon and explore the area by bike.
While the Maldives might have a reputation for rest and relaxation, you’ll find plenty to do at one its most popular surf spots. People travel from around the world to experience one of the most famous waves in the world – Yin Yang – which breaks just offshore on the outer reef of the island of Hithadhoo. In order to prepare for this iconic surf spot, attend the school at Six Senses resort on the nearby island of Laamu. Whatever your skill level, eco-friendly Timbertek boards and specialist coaches from Aussie surf company Tropicsurf make riding the waves effortlessly easy. And while the Maldives is the perfect place to go scuba diving, snorkelling and sunbathing, the activities are just as plentiful when the sun goes down. From reclining in front of the outdoor cinema to a lobster barbecue on the beach followed by a star-gazing session with the in-house astronomer.