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As an international surfing destination, the Northern Beaches is considered by many to be the birthplace of Australian surfing.

In 1915 it was Northern Beaches teenager Isabel Letham, who is considered by many as being Australia’s first surfer. Isabel was 15 when she was plucked from a crowd and invited to ride tandem with Hawaiian legend, Duke Kahanamoku at Freshwater.

In 1964 the waves at Manly Beach were put on the international surfing map hosting the first ever Surfing World Titles with the World Surfboard Riders Championship being won by Midget Farrelly.

In 2012, Manly and Freshwater Beaches were declared the third World Surfing Reserve, one of only three in Australia and just ten worldwide! This World Surfing Reserve stretches from Freshwater Beach, all of Manly Beach and around to Fairy Bower.

Today, the Northern Beaches boasts a plethora of surfing legends, Snowy McAlister, Stuart Entwistle, Barton Lynch, Pam Burridge and seven times world champion Layne Beachley and we know that list will continue to grow. In 2018, Manly Beach held another World Qualifying Series surfing event the Vissla Surf Pro, where some of the world's best surfers compete for 6,000 QS points up for grabs.