Australia is one big island with thousands of miles of beaches, so it’s not surprising that it claims some of the world’s top surfers—and some of the top surf spots. You’ll find many of the latter along the country’s east coast: Byron Bay, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, and the beaches near Sydney itself are legendary in surfing circles for their consistent swells and challenging breaks.
Given the surf culture down under, the Australian Open of Surfing is a huge event. Each year, the best talents from around the globe face off at Manly Beach in northern Sydney. But even that description is an understatement—this is so much more than an athletic competition. Rather, it’s a 10-day party by the sea that includes musical acts like Cloud Control and Angus & Julia Stone (performing in 2016) and some of Sydney’s most habit-forming food carts selling steamed buns, organic sausages, and tacos.