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March 28, 2023

Tweed Coast beaches set for surfing-reserve status

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Tweed Coast locals are pushing to establish the popular surf breaks at Cabarita Beach/Bogangar-Hastings Point as a surfing reserve.

If successful, the beaches will join the current 20 surfing reserves in Australia across five states.

A local steering committee has been formed with representatives from the local surfing/beach going/coastal community.

Long-time community advocate and Griffith University coastal researcher, Dr Kerrie Foxwell-Norton, will chair the committee and if the nomination is successful, will be the world’s first female chair of a surfing reserve.

‘We know that what we have here is special and we are passionate about its protection,’ Dr Foxwell-Norton said.

‘A surfing reserve sends a clear message that we respect and revere our surf and our coast,’ she told Echonetdaily.

The title of  ‘Surfing Reserve’ gives national recognition of the environmental, sporting, cultural and heritage values of the area.

Dr Foxwell-Norton said the official symbolic recognition ‘acknowledges the consistent quality of the breaks and the area’s historical and contemporary significance for local and visiting surfers, of all skill levels and surf craft’.

Founder and patron of surfing reserves and co-author of 101 Best Australian Beaches, Brad Farmer, a Tweed Coast resident, welcomed the nomination on behalf of the Board of National Surfing Reserves.

‘Cabarita Beach/Bogangar has been recognised as one of Australia’s best beaches – and we look forward to working with the committee and the community on their nomination,’ Mr Farmer said.

‘With its iconic surf breaks and popularity, it is a worthy surfing reserve candidate,’ he said.

There are currently 20 surfing reserves in Australia in five states, including Manly-Freshwater, Margaret River (WA) and Philip Island (VIC) and a further nine World Surfing Reserves spawned from the Australian program.

The committee will arrange to meet local community groups and host a public meeting to discuss the proposal in the next few months.

For further information contact Dr Foxwell-Norton at [email protected] or visit www.surfingreserves.org


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  1. What exactly does a surfing reserve entail, does it exclude other recreational users, snorkellers, fishers, swimmers body surfers. does it also add in environmental reserve features?

  2. So . . . other than keeping some bureaucrats busy, does “surfing-reserve” status actually accomplish anything?

  3. Too many surfing high spots have been vandalised!

    Take for example Kirra groyne.

    MP surfed it, Rabbit tubed it. My brother loves it.

    My other brother and his young ones surf where it breaks naturally.

    Surf has been extinguished by rocks at Kirra and other point breaks – human “fiddling with” the environment again.

    Can you let others enjoy a wild surf habitat that is undamaged by humans.

    I am not a surfer but I know how much this water / surf sport {if you call it a sport – or a lifestyle of clean living} helps those who surf.

    I am one who admires and respects the ocean.


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