Surfing. It is a sport that further characterises beach culture in Australia. Many Australians flock to the beach to tan, swim and relax but fewer tend to partake in or watch the sport of surfing.
In February, the city of Newcastle will host it's 28th annual Surfest competition where 800 competitors compete in various events. The most renowned surfing event is the Burton Toyota Pro where 144 of the world's best surfers compete for the illustrious title at Mereweather beach.
Other events include the Hunter Ports Women's Classic where professional women surfers compete for $40 000 US dollars, the Burton Toyota Pro Junior where the winner's of the young men's and women's divisions walk away with $10 000 U.S dollars, and the Orica Tag Team Challenge where surfing clubs from all around Australia compete for yet another $10 000 US dollars.
Surfest Newcastle is clearly an illustrious event for avid surfers to compete where much is at stake. It is one of the most competitive surfing competitions on the Australian circuit.
BUT you don't necessarily need to be a devoted fan to surfing in order to attend. There are numerous events that cater to those that want something a little different.
A surfing airshow will delight where participants impress with an array of air tricks among the waves. Or if you want to divert your attention away from the water, you can watch the gorgeous babes competing in the Miss Surfest Search on the beach.
If you feel like turning the 2 hour trip up the north coast into a weekend away, the Beach Hotel offers accommodation just metres from Merewether beach where numerous packages are offered to guests to stay, relax and be in such close proximity to the events of Surfest.