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Where to Surf at Christmas: The Best Surf Destinations to Spend Your Christmas Holiday
August 31st, 2019 + Wayfarers Atlas

Want to spend your December holidays on an island paradise experiencing new cultures and surfing fun waves but not sure where to surf at Christmas?

Below we look at 5 top surf trip destinations that offer incredible surf and beautiful family-friendly hotels and resort.

Whether you’re flying from Australia, considering a stay on our sunny shores or looking to escape a northern hemisphere winter, the following destinations all deliver in spades. You can expect warm waters, waves to suit beginners through to advanced surfers and all the good time holiday vibes you are after.

You’ll be paddling out into the rolling surf while your little Wayfarers are running barefoot in the sand content with the fact your whole family is relaxed and living their best life.

What’s not to love about that picture?

Deciding to go is the easy part, but choosing where to surf at Christmas is the challenge.

Where in the world should you take your family this holiday season?

Here’s our pick for where to surf at Christmas…



surfing Fiji in December

  • Coral Coast, Vita Levu
  • Qamea Island, part of Fiji’s Northern Islands
While the Northern hemisphere cools down, the surf starts to heat up on Fiji’s Coral Coast, and it’s Northern Islands. From November to April incoming southerly swells produce some of the best waves in Fiji.

Just over a 3-hour flight from Australia (manageable with kids and babies), Fiji offers the kind of cultural experience that’s truly infectious. From traditional kava ceremonies and torch-lit Fijian feasts to snorkelling the islands stunning coral reefs and surfing some of the regions most secluded waves. A Fiji vacation is guaranteed to have something for everyone and plenty of downtime.


Where to surf on Fiji’s Coral Coast?

  • Best conditions: November to March
  • Skill: All levels

Located on Fiji’s main island Viti Levu, the Coral Coast is a 2-hour drive from Nadi’s International airport. This stretch of coastline is known for its world-class waves. Conditions are at there best during the months of November to March when trade winds are ideal for the regions surrounding surf breaks.

While experienced surfers have access to some Fiji’s finest breaks, Frigates and Fiji Pipe, it is also a great destination to learn-to-surf.


Surfing Frigates at Matanivusi Surf Resort, Fiji

Frigates surf break 20km offshore from Matanivusi Surf Resort, Fiji



Where to stay on Fiji’s Coral Coast?

Matanivusi Resort

  • Sustainable resort
  • Boutique
  • Family-friendly
  • 6 local surf breaks a short boat ride away
  • Surf guiding and coaching for all levels of surfers

Conceived and crafted under the blessing of the local elders, Matanivusi Resort is a boutique surf resort surrounded by the regions best waves. Six local breaks are only a short boat ride away, and world-class Frigates is accessible on a day trip.

Matanivusi is a vision of sustainable style. Guests can feel clear in their conscience that during their time at the Matanivusi they are leaving barely a print in the sand.

Expect coconut palms, the bloom of exotic flowers, and days spent soaring down liquid mountains, immersed in yogi bliss, and listening to the calls of the jungle from beyond the coral reef.

The summer months see smaller swell duration 1-3 days; however, the conditions at this time of year are ideal for the local breaks around Matanivusi – The light winds see glassy conditions!


Holiday Vibes: Natural beauty. Eco-conscious. Designer haven.


Exterior view of Matanivusi Surf Resort Fiji

Matanivusi Surf Resort, Fiji



Where to sURF in Fiji’s Northern Islands?

  • Best conditions: November to April
  • Skill: All levels
On Qamea Island, the odds of riding secluded, perfect waves are high. Qamea is the ideal destination to be in December when line-ups at surf meccas are at maximum capacity.

The trip out to Qamea Island is via a short 80-minute flight from Nadi. Followed by a quick 20-minute speedboat over to the island.

Between the summer months of November and April, you can enjoy balmy tropical temperatures and bursts of summer showers, which quickly turn to steam with the high humidity and warm waters.


Surfing at Qamea Resort and Spa Fiji

Qamea Resort & Spa, Fiji


Where to sTAY in Fiji’s Northern Islands?

Qamea Resort and Spa

  • Adults only resort
  • Boutique
  • Unique cultural experience
  • Surf guiding and coaching for all levels of surfers
  • Surf breaks within 15 mins of the resort

For couples and families with teens, you can’t go past the sublime Qamea Resort and Spa. The resort has three quality surf breaks located within a 15-minute boat ride. One of those is Maqui ‘s, a long peeling right.

Surf coaching and guiding at Qamea is provided by Tropicsurf, who are there to get you into the best waves the region has on offer. Tropicsurf caters to for all surfing abilities including those looking to learn-to-surf free from crowds during their summer break.

Guests can expect five-star diving, kava ceremonies, seaside yoga sessions, fresh local produce, an award-winning spa and a maximum of 30 guests mean your Christmas holiday will be intimate, luxurious and world-class.


Holiday Vibes: Romantic. Blissful. Adult haven.


Qamea Resort & Spa, Fiji Surf Resort

Qamea Resort & Spa, Fiji




surfing Sri Lanka in December

  • Southwest coastline – Weligama, Midigama, Marissa
  • Best conditions: November to early April
  • Skill: All levels

Sri Lanka’s wave-rich southwest coast is home to Weligama located 2.5 hours from Colombo’s International Airport. While not as crowded as other surf destinations in the world, Sri Lanka is no longer the secret it once was.

The best time of year for waves and weather in Weligama is from November to early April. Southwest swells are common, and offshore winds breeze through in the mornings and late afternoons – surf conditions are best when it is hot and dry, creating clean fun waves. The water temperature averages around 27 ºC (81ºF).

If you are completely new to surfing, Weligama is home to a mellow beach break and is a great spot to learn-to-surf while immersing yourself in the Sri Lankan culture, visiting UNESCO temples, taking scenic train rides through the countryside and falling in love with pink-tinged sunsets.


The view of the Eastern beach from Cape Weligama Sri Lanka Surf Resort

Weligama coastline, Sri Lanka



Where to stay in Weligama?

Cape Weligama

  • Barefoot luxury
  • Family-friendly
  • Surrounded by fun surf breaks

Cape Weligama hangs on the precipice of a palm-studded cliff, dotted across 12 acres of flower-strewn space. A cliff hanger infinity pool overlooks the Indian Ocean and untouched reef break below. Access is hard unless you are staying at the resort, so you are guaranteed an uncrowded break. The resort is close to a string of fun waves, which dot the southern coastline.

The resorts whisper a hint of high-class colonial style, impeccably dressed villas, traditional gourmet dining and scores of cultural experiences — pure magic.


Holiday Vibes: Magical. Unique. Awe-inspiring.


Aerial view of Cape Weligama

Cape Weligama sits clifftop overlooking uncrowded waves below.




surfing Australia in December

  • Best Conditions: Year-round surf destination
  • Skill: All levels

Australia is a world-famous surfing destination year-round. But there’s no better time to visit than in the stunning summer, where Christmas means fresh seafood, mangoes and long lazy days at the beach.

Australia’s most easterly point, Byron Bay (Northern NSW) is popular with surfers and tourists, due to its combination of breathtaking coastal scenery, consistent world-class surf, wildlife, whale watching, diving, dining and nightlife.

You’ll find a long sand bottom right-hand point break at The Pass, quality A-frames at Tallow Beach and arguably Australia’s finest right-hand point break at Lennox Head. Head just a little further north, there’s a sleepy surfside town, Cabarita Beach, with an incredible hotel, Halcyon House, fun right-hand point break and a heap of fun beachies.

Water temps are a balmy 24-26 °C (75-79 °F) in December and January, so leave the steamer at home.

Cabarita Beach is only a 20-minute drive from the Gold Coast Airport or 1.5 hours from Brisbane International Airport.


Cabarita Beach headland near Halcyon House

Cabarita Point, North NSW Australia


Where to stay in Northern NSW?

Halcyon House

  • Boutique Hotel
  • Beachfront location
  • Family-friendly
  • Unique Design

This coastal hotel adapted the name that perfectly captures the laid-back, playful nature of Australian summers. The laidback luxury of this renovated retro hotel oozes with Riviera charm, and the eclectic interiors are second to none.

Halcyon House’s beachfront Cabarita Beach location provides surfers direct access to some of areas best beach breaks and is only a short 20-minute drive from the world-class super bank at Coolangatta.


Holiday Vibes: Tranquil. Carefree. Charming.


Exterior of Halcyon House and Pool area

Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach NSW




surfing the Philippines in December

  • Best Conditions: November to April
  • Skill: All levels

Pick a surf resort in the Philippines, and you will truly be on Cloud 9. Celebrated as being one of the friendliest countries in the world, the Philippines is a postcard vision comprising thousands of tropical islands, a rich archipelago, and world-class surf breaks.

The prime time for surfing on Siargao Island is between November and April when the Pacific Ocean sends powerful swells towards the island and one of the regions drawcards, Cloud 9, starts firing up. While Cloud 9 is suited to advanced surfers, Siargao is home to some great beginner waves such as Guiuan.

Siargao Island is accessed via a domestic 1-2 hour flight out of Cebu or Manila. Water temperatures are warm, around 27 °C (80 °F) and as a destination that is just starting to heat up on the surf radar – the surf breaks are yet to become overcrowded. For those seeking sculpted tropical landscapes, waves that thunder, and an enchanting culture – the Philippines is the place.


surfer walking the boardwalk to cloud 9 surf spot, Nay Palad

The boardwalk to Cloud 9



Where to stay on Siargao Island?

Nay Palad

  • Boutique Luxury Resort
  • All-inclusive packages
  • Family-friendly
  • Surf guiding to surrounding breaks

Nay Palad redefines barefoot luxury and sits nestled beautifully between ancient mangrove forests and soft white sands. The Nay Palad Hideaway takes sustainability seriously with many initiatives in place both within the resort and local community.

Only ten villas sit in this pocket of paradise where days are spent in sun salutations and surf sessions at the iconic Cloud 9 surf break, which is only a 15-minute drive from the resort. This top to bottom peak is the holy grail of the Philippines surf scene.


Holiday vibes: Luxe. Sustainable. Pristine.


Nay Palad Hideaway beachfront

Nay Palad Hideaway, Philippines




surfing Oahu in December

  • Best Conditions: Winter delivers the largest swells on the north shore and great conditions for beginners looking to learn to surf in Waikiki.
  • Skill: There is a break for all skill levels, however, breaks on Oahu’s north shore are best left to experienced surfers.

Oahu is the quintessential home of surfing. From riding giants on the legendary North Shore to longboarding on baby waves at Waikiki, Oahu’s surf scene has something for beginners through to pros.

Oahu’s North Shore

  • One hour from Oahu’s international airport
  • Hiring a car is a great way to get around the north shore and to explore the whole island

December on Oahu is officially the islands winter season and with it comes the legendary swells that light up the North Shore and pro surfing’s biggest names. Surfers in the World Surf League make this 7 mile stretch of coastline their home for December while competing in the Van’s Triple Crown. Regardless of your surfing ability, this is an incredible time of year to visit Oahu and the North Shore. Just to witness surf breaks like Pipeline, Waimea and Sunset Beach ‘do their thing’ is an unforgettable experience.

If you are looking for mellower vibes on the North Shore, it’s still possible to score fun at this time of year. Head towards Haleiwa and check out spots like Lanis and Jocko’s which may be far less crowded.


  • Waikiki is only a 15-minute drive from Oahu’s international airport
  • Beginner-friendly waves

In Waikiki, you can expect small fun waves perfect for the whole family. If you have ever considered learning to surf, this could be the right place to do it.

Waikiki is a melting pot of cultures with no shortage of amazing places to dine or bars to sit beachfront sipping mai tais while the sunsets.

No matter your holiday style Oahu has something for everyone, it’s an adventures playground and the ultimate destination to recharge after a long year.


Where to stay in Waikiki?

The Modern Honolulu

  • Hip Hotel
  • Close to Waikiki’s fun waves
  • Family-friendly

The whole family will love this Christmas surf destination. The Modern is a hip haven on the lei-soaked shores of Honolulu, boasting boutique touches, good-time vibes, and sleek surf style.

It’s cosmopolitan without being cookie-cutter, and you’ll be utterly charmed by The Modern’s bespoke buzz. Boasting surf-inspired art installations, a handful of fun bars and an exquisite restaurant, there is nothing The Modern can’t do.

Having Waikiki’s fun waves on your doorstep is just the icing on the cake.


The Modern Honolulu, Oahu


Where to stay on the North Shore?


  • Family-friendly
  • Range of accommodation types
  • Close to surrounding surf breaks

Occupying prime real estate, Turtle Bay Resort is the only resort on the North Shore and is a one-stop-shop for making the most of the North Shore. The resort is set on a staggering 850 acres and offers an array of accommodation types from resort rooms and suites, through to beach cottages and self-contained villas with enough space for the whole family.

It is the ideal base for surfing the north shore and experiencing everything this region of Oahu has to offer.

Holiday Vibes: Chic. Playful. Buzzing.


Turtle Bay Resort Oahu North Shore

Turtle Bay Resort Oahu North Shore



Ditch the cooking and cleaning this December vacation season, and add a dose of surf, sunshine and barefoot luxury.


Our family favourite has been Oahu and it just keeps getting better as our girls get older.

If you have any questions or looking to take the hassle out of planning and booking our next adventure please get in touch.

Or comment below. We would love to know your favourite Christmas holiday destination or whats sitting on your bucket list.






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