Victoria’s first National Surfing Reserve was launched on Phillip Island on 16 March 2013 by Layne Beachley and the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Youth Affairs, The Hon Ryan Smith MP. This achievement for Victorian surfing was the result of over two years of hard work by a dedicated community group.

Phillip Island is a unique, world–class destination, with a proud surfing history dating back to the 1920s and first Surf Life Saving Club established in 1959. The Boardriders Club began in 1963 and held Victoria’s first professional contest that summer.

The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve recognises that the ‘Island’ is special for its Aboriginal and natural values. All surfers must play a role in protecting these.


  • Woolamai – for the ever-changing world-class beach breaks.
  • Smiths Beach – for the Island’s premier barreling reef break and the mellower waves where many grommets experience their first wave.
  • Summerland – The ‘birthplace’ of Island surfing with iconic reef breaks that work in the largest of swells.
  • Cat Bay – for the high quality left and right hand reef breaks that allow surfing when other south-facing Island beaches have onshore winds.


“And we let it take us
Far from the daily grind
Lifted on a southern swell
To a place called peace of mind”

Dogga [Graeme] Luke – pioneering Island surfer, 2013

The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve community working group comprised representatives from Phillip Island Nature Parks, Bass Coast Shire Council, Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Phillip Island Boardriders Club, Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club and the Phillip Island surfing community. The project is proudly supported by San Remo District Financial Services, Ramada Phillip Island and Destination Phillip Island.