Urbn Surf Melbourne is a wave pool located in Tullamarine, conveniently just 3 kilometres from Melbourne’s main airport. It’s Australia’s first surf park, using Wavegarden technology to produce ocean-like surfing waves to suit all skill levels and preferences.
I’ve been hanging out to try Urbn Surf for a while now, so when travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic finally starting to ease, my mate Alex and I took the opportunity to fly down from Queensland and give it a crack!
When we entered the facility, which actually feels quite remote given the lack of high rise buildings on the horizon, we were greeted with crystal blue peelers.
There’s no denying that the wave pool does have that chlorinated swimming pool look to it, but with 30 degree air temperatures and blue skies it sure looked inviting, and our excitement was growing by the second!
How does the UrbnSurf lineup work?
The UrbnSurf pool is divided into two areas, a mirror image of lefts and rights separated by a barrier which houses the wave generator.
Since we arrived a bit early, we decided to walk around the outside of the pool and check out the lineup.
The etiquette is pretty simple. Session participants line up along the inside wall, waiting their turn before positioning themselves in the takeoff zone, which is about 1m from the solid concrete outside wall and varies in distance depending on the wave’s setting.
It feels a bit foreign at first, as a fair bit of water draws back on the takeoff, but after a couple waves you get the hang of it.
How long is a session at UrbnSurf?
An average session at UrbnSurf runs for 60 minutes and costs $79. You can choose from a variety of sessions to match your level of experience including Cruiser, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert, with each session offering a left or right-hander option.
How many people are in the water with you?
You can usually expect 12-15 people in the water with you.
How many waves do you get?
Each set at UrbnSurf has 12 surfable waves, with a short break between sets so that the turbulence can settle in the pool. In an average session at Urbnsurf you can expect 10-15 waves, depending on how many other people are in the water with you. At almost $80 a session, we’re talking $5 to $8 per wave… making it a lot cheaper than a Maldives trip!
We had two separate sessions, Advanced Rights and Intermediate Rights. I used the Dawn Patrol app to measure our second session and clocked up 15 waves, spending almost 3 and half minutes up on my feet over more than one kilometre in distance.
There’s a resident photography booth at UrbnSurf Melbourne operated by SurfChimp. For most sessions the photographers will shoot from the middle wall, doing their best to capture every surfer at least once. They won’t capture every wave, but browsing through the online photo gallery during the trip home is a nice way to reflect on your session.
Here’s a couple of my souvenirs captured by the SurfChimp crew.
First up, the Intermediate Right, a fun and forgiving wall with a lippy little end section (for those who don’t pull off early strategically to get back into the queue).
The Advanced Right packs a bit more punch. Halfway through the session barrel mode is activated, with a hollow section forming mid-way through the wave.
If your sole mission to Melbourne is to surf, sleep and repeat, you can’t go past the Cilom’s Airport Lodge. The going rate here is about $150 per night, and being located directly across the road from the surf park, it’s scores extra points for location.
Since we had a hire car, we chose to stay at the slightly more modern Mantra Tullamarine, which is still located only 1.1km from Urbn Surf and averages between $150 and $200 per night for a twin-share room.
The easiest way to book a session at UrbnSurf is to browse availability online. Sessions book out surprisingly quickly, particularly during the warmer months, so I recommend booking well in advance if you’re planning a trip interstate.
UrbnSurf Board Hire
Traveling domestically with a surfboard in Australia can be pain in the rear end. Extra baggage fees, the risk of damage, and even more lining up in airports isn’t anyone’s idea of fun.
We thought we’d chance it and hire surfboards directly from Urbn Surf. There are ‘standard’ and ‘premium’ options ($25 and $45 respectively). Although they had a few battle scars, we found that the standard boards worked out just fine.
TIP: Add an extra 1-2 litres to your normal volume. Chlorinated water doesn’t float you as much as the salty kind will.
Are the rumours true about an Urbn Surf facility being built in Sydney?
Construction has commenced at Sydney Olympic Park with an anticipated opening date of Summer 2022 🤙.
Urbn Surf is located at 309 Melrose Drive, Tullamarine, Victoria.
You can also get in contact via the Urbn Surf website.