The man, in his 50s, was assaulted while surfing at Tuncurry Beach in New South Wales, according to a police statement.
He suffered injuries to his upper right thigh, police said.
Other beach goers pulled the surfer out of the water.
“Despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene, the man could not be resuscitated,” NSW Ambulance tweeted.
Beaches in the area were closed following the fatal attack.
A drone search over the water spotted two sharks in the area, according to Brian Wilcox, president of the rescue arm of Lower North Coast Surf Life.
“It’s pretty unprecedented. I don’t remember ever having a shark attack in this area, ”Wilcox told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Before Tuesday, Australia’s last fatal shark attack was in November when a 55-year-old surfer was killed in Broome.
With pole wires