Charlie Fry, 25, was surfing with four friends about 40 metres from shore at Avoca Beach when a shark tried to bite him. He was not seriously injured and suffered bite marks to his shoulder and arm.
The incident took place around 4pm (local time) on 13 November 2017.
“I saw a shark’s head come out of the water, with its teeth, and I just punched it in the face,” he told the press.
“I didn’t feel the teeth going in, it felt like I was smacked, it felt like a hand, a hand grabbing me, shaking me.
“It was just pure adrenaline, I genuinely thought I was going to die, like ‘you’re about to be eaten alive by a shark’, so everything slowed down, like ‘get on your board and surf’.”
He got back on his board and paddled ashore.
Two of Fry’s three friends were doctors who took good care of him before taking him to Gosford Hospital.
Fry said he thought the shark was around 5 to 6-foot long. The species of shark was not reported.
It is not the first time a surfer has been attacked at the popular surf spot. In October 2014, surfer Kirra-Belle Olsson was attacked by a shark in almost the same place along the beach.