There are few things as fulfilling as a summer road trip with friends, hitting the open road with camping gear in the boot and a quiver of boards strapped to the roof. Australia is brimming with easy and accessible adventures, many of which can be accomplished over a weekend!
To celebrate the spirit of the Australian road trip and to encourage you to partake in your own summer adventures, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Poler, Bear Rentals, Dead Kooks, and North Journal to bring you eight epic Australian summer journeys – all easily obtainable! Each journey will provide inspiration and expert tips from locals and the Corona creative community that’ll help make your next roadie a breeze.
Corona Journey No.42 – Van Diemen’s Land by Nick Green
Tasmania doesn’t exactly have a reputation for its hot weather, in fact, it’s almost the complete opposite. If you live on the mainland (yes, us Tasmanians call the rest of Australia the “mainland”), then there’s a fair chance you probably think Tasmania is too far and too cold to bother visiting. This misconception of our beautiful little island doesn’t phase us though, we’ve got a good thing going away from the crowds and hype in the rest of the country. In the past couple of years, surfers from all over the globe have made the trek down here to have a crack at our famous right-hand slab, Shipsterns Bluff. They fly in, get their five minutes of fame and photos and fly out, missing out on the countless number of amazing waves and landscapes our state has on offer.
The truth is, Tasmania has everything that the rest of the country has – beautiful beaches, world class waves, mountain ranges and diverse landscapes. Due to our geographical location, our climate is considered a temperate maritime, and unlike the rest of Australia, we have four very distinctive seasons. Our winters are cold and our summers are hot. Summer’s the best time to visit if you’re not too keen on rugging up or don’t own a 4/3 wetsuit. It’s this diverse weather that creates such a build-up of excitement for summer each and every year.
Unlike the other states of Australia, Tasmania is completely surrounded by the ocean, with each coastline accessible. This creates several different options for surf depending on swell and wind conditions. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, then you can find a decent wave every day. Contrary to popular belief, Tasmania has more waves to offer than just Shipsterns Bluff and if you’re respectful, most locals are more than happy to help you out and point you in the right direction.
After spending a relatively large portion of the year travelling elsewhere, I was super excited to get home and try to explore parts of Tassie I hadn’t spent much time at before. One of the best things about living here is that everywhere is quite close, which is perfect for day trips and weekend getaways.
The first stop on my trip was the north-east coast, known for its incredibly pristine beaches more than its quality surf breaks, but I was hoping to try and combine the two. Bay of Fires or Eddystone Point is the furthest you can drive north on the Great Eastern Drive of Tasmania; it’s littered with dozens of amazing spots and pure white beaches with no one in sight. There is lush green bushland with hidden waterholes and waterfalls. You could spend a week driving along there and it still wouldn’t be enough to see all that’s on offer.
I had heard of a few spots around Bay of Fires that I was super keen to check out and was hoping to luck into a swell while I was there. Arriving at dusk, I set up a fire on the beach, cooked some tucker and hoped that the swell would pick up overnight as it was looking quite small! Unfortunately, the swell was too south, so I decided to drive to the local skatepark for a quick roll instead.
I rocked up to the carpark to see Dion Agius having a chat with his old man, log sticking out the back of his ute. I said g’day and introduced myself. I’d heard Dion used to live down here and he explained how he was building a house in the area. We exchanged numbers and met later that afternoon for a super fun surf at a spot he grew up surfing, which kind of made up for not scoring in the morning. Legend of a guy.
For some time, my friends and I had been talking about sailing around a small island south of Tasmania searching for waves and good times. Yleena was our boat’s name, and it was owned by my friend’s family who lived in Kettering (which conveniently was the starting point of our voyage). We were planning to sail all day, through the channel and around the sea cliffs, into the open ocean and eventually end up in a little bay where we were hopefully going to score some fun waves.
The day we left was 30 degrees and no wind – a perfect day, just not for sailing! We motored along at a slow pace, taking in the scenery and listening to tunes until the sea breeze kicked in and the sails were lifted. We eventually arrived at the bay, 3-4ft lines surging under the boat as we checked the wave from behind. We quickly dropped anchor, suited up and jumped in the water. I’d never surfed from a boat before, and the fact that it was pumping made it that much better. Later on, content with our surf, we paddled back to the boat hungry for some food and keen to knock off a few beers. I decided to jump in the little dingy and get a shot of the fellas and the boat.
Tasmania really can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you’re looking to relax on a beautiful beach, climb a mountain or surf a perfect uncrowded wave. It’s my favourite place in Australia! Below are a few tips from a local’s perspective that will help prepare you for an epic trip to Tasmania; just don’t tell too many people because we don’t want everyone to find out how awesome this place is!
At the end of the day, a vehicle is just a way to get from A to B. I recently met a couple who flew to Hobart, purchased an old beat up wagon for $1000 and drove it around Tasmania for two weeks, before selling it again for $500 and then flying home. It still worked out cheaper than hiring a car, and they had the luxury of treating it however they liked.
However, the journey is just as important as the destination and being comfortable makes for a smoother ride. If you already own a car and don’t wish to hire or purchase one in Tasmania, you can catch the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne to Devonport and have the luxury of your own wheels to explore our fine state. Ferry prices vary depending on the time of year you go; try to book in advance if you’re coming over in summer, as it gets busy. My 1977 Toyota Hiace hasn’t led me astray even after clocking up over 10,000 km this summer alone!
Travel with good company! Some of the greatest moments I’ve ever experienced have been while I’ve travelled solo around Tasmania; you go at your own pace and just live in the moment. However, I often find myself wanting to share these incredible moments with others, and I don’t mean via Snapchat or Instagram. Where possible, always travel with friends!
I think the perfect number of people to travel with is three; someone to drive, someone to read directions and someone to be in charge of the music. If you’re travelling in larger groups, be careful of rocking up to surf spots that are off the beaten track, as not everyone is going to be as stoked to share the lineup as you and your friends are. It’s also paramount to make sure that whoever you choose to travel with are open minded and positive individuals – having a good attitude even when things go wrong make for a more pleasant trip.
Get off the Beaten Track
It’s easy to do what someone else has already done, what’s hard is to be different. Take time to make each moment your own, find a fresh perspective and I guarantee you’ll be rewarded.
Stop to Smell the roses
We live in a society where people struggle to live in the moment. We use our phones to show off how much fun we are having instead of actually having fun! Of course, sometimes it’s important to record a memory by capturing it with a photograph, but I have found that the greatest memories have been when they are just that – memories. No physical evidence of them. (I do realise the irony of this as a photographer). Find a place you like, kick your feet back and just take it all in.
Where to Surf
During summer, you often only need very small swell for the sand banks to build up, opening up a lot of different options for waves. The southern region of Tasmania can be fickle but also very rewarding if you put in the effort. I recommend getting the ferry to Bruny Island and exploring some of the waves on offer down there. The most popular spot is Middle Bay, a beach break with a long right-hand wall. Board the ferry from Kettering, it’ll cost you $30 for a car pass. It is not uncommon to surf here by yourself throughout the week as the locals are usually at work.
Another great spot that turns on throughout summer is Remarks, or as the tourists know it, Remarkable Caves. Simply follow the signs from Port Arthur (south-east peninsula) and you’ll walk out through a cave and onto a beach littered with super fun wedges. The entire east coast is made up of multiple beach breaks, reefs, points and even the occasional wedge, so hit the road and stick to the coast and you’ll be sure to score!
Heading west can also be a very worthwhile venture during the warmer months; the wind tends to blows from the east, which is ideal for the west side of the island. Base yourself in Marrawah and explore this rugged and raw coastline; it’s perhaps suited to more experienced surfers looking for bigger waves.
My favourite place to surf in summer is the south-east cape or Lion Rock, which is located at the very bottom of Tasmania. It’s a two-hour drive from Hobart followed but a two-hour hike with boards and camping gear, but you can luck into surfing incredible waves by yourself at the very bottom of the world. I recommend a trip even if the waves aren’t doing their thing, as it’s still an incredible place to visit.
Swim! And then swim again!
You will never regret a dip in the ocean or river. Sure, there have been times where I’ve questioned my sanity for swimming in certain situations (the middle of winter out Shipsterns Bluff comes to mind), but the feeling of immersing yourself in the midst of nature is second to none. Get up early, get in the water and watch the sunrise! Visit waterfalls and bathe in the freezing natural water. Stay up late and go for a night swim under the stars. It’s such a simple thing you can do to make you feel so much happier and revitalised, and there is such a diverse selection of places to swim in Tasmania. I recommend visiting Wineglass Bay or Mount Amos, both places are perfect for a day trip, and you can cool off in the crystal-clear waters that surround the area.
Want to win the ULTIMATE Corona Summer Journeys prize pack? Then share your Summer Journey with us!
There’s a hefty summer bounty up for grabs including:
– 1 x Bear Rentals Camping Package
– 1 x Poler 2-Man Tent
– 1 x Dead Kooks Custom Surfboard
– 2 x Poler Napsacks
– 2 x Poler Rucksack Bag
– 1 x Poler Cast Iron Dutch Oven
– 2 x Poler Camp Vibe Mugs
– 1 x Corona 120L Esky
– 2 x Corona Towels
– 2 x Corona Caps
To share your Summer Journey with Corona simply upload a photo from your adventure to Instagram, tag @coronaextra_au and three friends in the caption, along with the hashtag #CoronaJourneys. Easy!
For more entry details and T&C’s click HERE.