Western Australia: Kitesurfing the Wild Wild West
Pics courtesy Martina Manning, Matt Stevens (Swagman Photography), John Sullivan and Shaun Hutton
Western Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and diverse marine ecosystems. In recent years kitesurfers have begun to flock to Perth’s beaches between the months of September to April, enticed by the consistent winds, warm weather, long stretches of sandy white beaches and pristine waters.
The North West coastline offers amazing kiteboarding locations, ranging from sandy flat water bays to epic point breaks and reef breaks. However, due to the vastness of the Australian landscape, the sparsely populated North West coastline can be daunting for unequipped travellers. As a result many of these visitors never get out of the busy metropolitan areas to experience the true magic of our amazing coastline.
This is a ‘must kite’ short list of locations to visit between Perth and Exmouth, Western Australia. Whether you decide to go it alone, or join a kite safari, these are the places to hit up. We guarantee that you will be dreaming about these beautiful, pristine, isolated, and epically windy kitesurfing locations for years to come.
Now home to the International Oceanic Classic, Lancelin is a small crayfishing village that combines flat water bay riding and an outer reef break for wave junkies. There is a great downwinder between Lancelin and Wedge Island, which is 20km in length. The tiny town has a great little pub to wind down at after an afternoon session.
Dongara, is known as the rock lobster capital of Australia and home to the ‘leaning trees’. Most of them grow at 45 degrees due to the consistent strong winds.
This quaint little town comes alive in the summer months for the annual kite stock festival. The strong cross shore winds and rolling waves make this area perfect for downwinders, or head out to the Irwin river mouth for some flat water fun.
Coronation Beach, located just north of Geraldton is said to be one of Australia’s most attractive beaches and one of the finest kitesurfing locations in the world. “Coros” as it is known, gets you back to basics. You will need to bring enough food and water for your stay – and believe us you will want to stay!
The outer reef and headland create a protected flat water bay perfect for freestyle riding, or if you prefer a wave, head to the reef break on the outer edge. As the wind swings a little more offshore in the late afternoon this spot provides you with some truly unforgettable wave riding.
Quobba Point, is off the beaten track, located 60 km off the main highway down unpaved and sometimes corrugated roads. It’s a bit of a hike, but it is worth the effort. It is located within a working station, so driving slowly to avoid cows and goats as well as native kangaroos and echidnas is essential.
Arrive to the sight of majestic whales breaching on the horizon past the outer break, and a small encampment of shacks, dating back to the times where you could stake your claim and build your home in the wild unclaimed outback.
This area is special for a number of reasons… kite at high tide over the reef to see manta rays and turtles beneath your feet, or head to the other side of the bay to the point break. Just down the road is Gnarloo, known for its pumping wind and point break perfection. This spot is not for the inexperienced wave rider.
Carnarvon Gascoyne River
If you’re not interested in roughing it out in the bush at Quobba, the Carnarvon Gascoyne River is an amazing flat water kitesurfing spot. Situated right next to the small town of Carnarvon you can head back to your hotel and to the pub for a meal after your kite session.
Shark Bay Peninsula
Shark Bay Peninsula, despite its name, is home to some great kitesurfing locations. There are multiple lagoons, including Big and Little Lagoon located close to the town of Denham which are great flat water spots. Explore the Useless Loop Road to find other lagoons, including Tamala Station. If you are an experienced wave rider there are some great wave breaks along this road to check out.
Sandy Bay and Graveyards Beaches
Sandy Bay and Graveyards beaches sit within the Cape Range National Park and the Ningaloo Marine Park, about 60 km from the town of Exmouth. These beaches are two of our favourite kitesurfing locations; they sit within a 50km stretch of pristine coastline, white sandy beaches framed by rugged limestone ranges, and breathtaking canyons, home to multitudes of Australian kangaroos, echidnas and other wildlife.
Picture sparkling turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, strong cross-onshore winds and kiting perfection. You won’t believe the photos haven’t been photo-shopped. Sandy Bay is a perfect flat (unimaginatively titled) sandy bay. Graveyards is a famous local surf spot, perfect for beginners to try their hand at wave riding close to shore, or for the more experienced wave rider with larger fish to fry you can head out to the back of the beach to catch the big stuff.
These locations typically hear the wind god’s call around mid-day and there are a multitude of other activities available if the feeling takes you. The Ningaloo Marine Park is famous world-wide as Australia’s largest fringing reef. Step off the white sandy beaches and into a wonderland of incredible diversity. Stand up paddle boarding, surfing, snorkelling and fishing are all possible at these locations or alternatively go for a trek through the gorges or up the local beaches to see the sights should the wind gods take an unscheduled hiatus.
How to Get There
Perth has a large international airport and there are many flight options from the United States, Europe, UK and Middle East.
Carriers include Virgin, Delta, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Qatar and Emirates airways.
A great way to experience the best kitesurfing that Western Australia has to offer is to join a kite safari.
Adventure Kiting WA is a kite safari company based out of Perth, owned by kite enthusiasts Brian and Martina Manning. They created this gem in order to share their passion for kite surfing and local knowledge with other kitesurfers.
They take care of everything so all you have to worry about is which rad new move you will try each day. The tours offer a fun, social atmosphere to kite and explore Western Australia, with all camping equipment and meals provided.
After a big day on the water relax around the campsite surrounded by nature, exchange the days kiting tales with your new kiting buddies and enjoy a beer with some typical Australian cuisine.
If you are interested in finding out about more about travel to Western Australia and the kite safari’s offered by Adventure Kiting WA, visit www.adventurekitingwa.com.au, or contact Brian and Martina at [email protected] and 0433 803 277.
If you prefer to adventure alone there are multiple car hire options on arrival in Perth and in the city surrounds. If hiring a car pay attention to driving kilometres included and restrictions for driving on corrugated roads. Note in some parts of Western Australia it is necessary to bring additional fuel supplies as there are long distances between roadhouses. Wicked campers provide a range of camper options from budget to premium, with 4wd options also available.
Lancelin: If you want to know more about what Lancelin has to offer for kiteboarders, travel blogger, Kelly Wetherington has a great write up on her experiences learning to kitesurf there, and why a one week stopover turned into a 2.5 month extended stay. I think that says it all…
Have you kitesurfed on the North West Coast of Australia? Tell us all about it in the comments below, and let us know your favourite spots…
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Source: inMotion Kitesurfing