“And the coast itself is so varied: Beaches with yellow sand, beaches with white sand, beaches backed by high cliffs or beaches backed by amazing dunes. The surf writer Tim Baker got it right when he said India has the Taj Mahal, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben but Australia’s iconic symbol is its beaches,” the champ said.
Such is the influence of the beach that many Aussie writers are cleansed by saltwater. Contemporary great Tim Winton jams out his novels in between waves. Thomas Keneally wrote “Schindler’s Ark” while overlooking Sydney’s northern beaches.
The beaches are so paramount that any journey into Aussie culture these days has to take in board shorts, sandy feet and saltwater-bleached hair (before it turns gray).
As summer rolls in, many yearn for mid-evening sunsets in smooth, five-foot swells. That invigorating feeling of riding a wave’s crest is when, truly, nothing else matters.
Surfing Australia chief executive Andrew Stark told The Daily Telegraph Australia’s long coastline of breaks and “amazing water quality” is the reason Australia has “the world’s biggest learn-to-surf industry.”
The job’s now ahead to protect that natural asset, National Surfing Reserve chairman Brad Farmer said in a statement.
“The world is looking to Australia [for] how to manage and protect beaches. It’s an honor for us to be leading the way forward,” he said.
For locals and travelers this summer, perhaps that instant after sliding down the face of a wave is worth a moment of contemplation: You’re surfing among the world’s best spots, let’s keep it that way.