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On the road: Surfing in Byron Bay

From the moment you arrive in Byron Bay you will feel the surfy, artsy vibe. From the fire twirlers performing on the beach to the rows of locals checking out the swell every morning. There’s no place more perfect to learn to surf in Australia than this beachside town.

So when Mojo Surf Camp invited me to stay for a week, I jumped at the chance. Located by the famous Arts Factory Lodge, I stayed in a funky tipi village in a forest for four nights.

Each tipi has 4 single beds, which are fully made up. There are shared bathroom and kitchen facilities (although meals are included). It’s the perfect place to meet new friends, learn to surf, and explore all that Byron has to offer.

I joined the surf/yoga package. Meaning every morning at 7am, I walked down the road for my morning yoga class. A great way to start the day, and stretch off the previous afternoon’s surf-induced soreness. After yoga I grabbed some food and then chilled in a hammock with my neighbours, until Muzza arrived to pick me up for my surf lesson.

Let’s begin by stating that surfing is not as easy as it looks, so a lot of respect goes to the Mojo Surf crew (particularly Muzza, Cam and James) who were nothing short of Saints while I fell, fell and fell again. Who knew wiping out was a skill in itself?

Lesson 1 consisted of me spending 1% of the lesson on the board and 99% of the lesson underwater. But by Lesson 4 I had both feet on the board as I glided my last wave of the week. Some would call it a miracle, others would say it was incredible teaching. Either way, I had a fantastic time.

Each day we drove up to Lennox Head, a short drive from Byron Bay, which was quieter and less-crowded than the world-famous beach. It was the perfect conditions to get on the board for the first time, with a handful of locals ready to throw a chaka and yell ‘yewww’ when you caught your first wave. Nothing beats a little team spirit to cheer you on.

But it’s not all about surf. There are numerous other activities and workshops around the camp including Didgeridoo Making, African Drumming and the famous Bush Tucker Walk and bracelet making with Cockatoo Paul.

Meals are included in Mojo’s Surf & Stay and Guided Surf Adventure packages and offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options at the Arts Factory Lodge Cafe.

Packages also come with free board and bike hire to explore Byron Bay, so free afternoons can be spent cycling up to the lighthouse or working on your surf skills.

At the Arts Factory don’t miss the talent show every Tuesday night, where a whole host of talented individuals perform, ranging from musicians, right through to comedians and mime artists.

The Mojosurf Camp is located right next to the Byron Bay Brewery which has a host of DJ’s, gigs and live performances in the evenings. Mojo guides will also show you around the other copious amounts of places in town to see live music, DJ’s and dance the night away.

It was a fantastic week, and the perfect introduction to surfing in Australia. Only a few days after I left, I was renting a board for a couple hours of surfing on the Sunshine Coast.

A massive thanks to Mojo Surf Camp for hosting me, and to the guys for being absolutely incredible. I’ll definitely be back!

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