In a move he learned from Australian surfer Mick Fanning, who famously punched a shark at a 2015 World Surf League (WSL) event in South Africa, Fry punched the fish in the face with his left hand.
There have been 16 shark encounters and attacks off the island continent's vast coastline this year, including the death of a 17-year-old girl mauled in full view of her parents in Western Australia.
Charlie Fry, 25, was paddling back to shore just 30 metres from North Avoca beach's shark tower when he felt a thumping knock to his right shoulder on Monday afternoon.
He said he heard a "massive thud" and initially thought it was a friend playing around but turned and "saw a shark's head come out of the water with its teeth".
Fry, a surfing novice, was surfing with three doctor friends when he was attacked.
"If you are watching or listening, Mick, I owe you a beer".
"So when it happened I was like, 'Just do what Mick did, just punch it in the nose'".
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Fray said he wasn't conscious of his injured and bleeding arm until he reached the shore. "Just punch it in the nose", Mr Fry told Australia's Nine Network TV.
"I didn't really notice it at the time... all I'm thinking was: 'I'm about to die".
"I was just surfing, (saying) get in as fast as possible, ride the wave as fast as possible, ride the wave as long as you can and start paddling for your life essentially".
Dr Fry suffered superficial puncture wounds on his right shoulder and upper arm and was driven to hospital by his friends.
A three metre shark was located at Avoca shortly after he was attacked.
Avoca and North Avoca beaches will remain closed for a further 24 hours.
Fry, who was able to surf back to the beach with his friends, was not seriously hurt and initially did not even realise he had been bitten.