A search began for Hugo Palmer, 20, from Forest Row, and his friend, Erwan Ferrieux, also 20, when walkers found items belonging to the two men were found on Shelley Beach in the early hours of Monday morning.
A further search by police revealed their rental car, , a silver Commodore Station wagon, had been left abandoned in a car park at the beach, which is near Port Macquarie in New South Wales.
A spokesman for New South Wales Police said: “A search of the wagon found a number of other personal items, including travel documents.
“A water and ground search commenced involving police from Mid North Coast Police District, Marine Rescue, SES, NSW Police Force Marine Area Command. There has been no sign of the pair.”
He added that police are appealing to anyone who might have seen the men or their Commodore near the Shelley Beach car park or in the surrounding streets to contact them.
Reports in Australian newspapers suggest Mr Palmer and Mr Ferrieux had been classmates at school in East Grinstead, and that they have been travelling together for more than three months.
Both men were believed to be keen surfers, and weather conditions in the area had been rough, leading police to suspect they may have got into trouble while surfing at the beach.
However, police are hopeful the two men may yet be found safe and well.