Australia’s Pacific Coast is home to some of the greatest surf beaches in the world. Which one does Aussie native Jamie Mitchell recommend? All of them. His ultimate surf vacation is a road trip that starts in Sydney, New South Wales, and heads north along the Pacific Highway for 660 miles, ending in Noosa Heads, Queensland. “This is a classic surf pilgrimage with heaps of quality waves for all levels to be found,” he says.
The highlight of the route, according to Mitchell, is the stretch that extends from his birthplace off Coffs Harbour to the Gold Coast. For stand-up paddleboarding, specifically, he sticks to high-quality but uncrowded beaches like Byron Bay, Lennox Head, and Angourie. “You don’t have to go to the ends of the world to have a memorable adventure,” says Mitchell. “Sometimes all it takes is a wave all to yourself.”
Since 2002, Jamie Mitchell has won nearly every major paddleboarding race he’s entered, including ten consecutive wins in the race across Hawaii’s Molokai Channel—a 32-mile marathon regarded as the world championship of paddleboarding. Mitchell is also a force on the growing stand-up paddleboarding scene, a highly acknowledged big-wave surfer, and an all-round world-class waterman. Read his Adventurers of the Year profile.
Jamie Mitchell's Gear Pick: Surftech Board
“I always bring my Surftech board—the Jamie Mitchell namesake one, of course. And my Quickblade paddle.”