Murchison River

Coral Coast, Western Australia


Cervantes is a crystal-clear flat-water spot offering safe riding in morning easterlies before the sea breeze sets in at lunchtime. The coast-road to Jurien is well-built now, so the north-facing bay also attracts non-surfers to the sheltered beach. Waves can be found half-an-hour north at Greenhead. Launching is north of the pier from private fishing cooperative land, so be subtle and save your energy for cutting loose out on the water. Because when it goes off, Green Head is one of the windiest places on the west coast with big, powerful waves breaking on a reef so far offshore that they just get cleaner as the swell builds. But life’s calmer inside the reef as it stays flat to choppy making South Bay good for beginners and freestylers. Alternatively, choose any one of numerous tracks to the coast between here and Leeman for freeride conditions. The small fishing town of Port Denison hosts a rarely surfed beach-break in lurid waters south of the harbour. In good swell the long, thick left at 'Dongara’ breaks north of the harbour, although it’s usually a surfer’s wave. In contrast Geraldton is a classic amongst West Oz destinations, famed for good wind and conditions to suit all tastes. On Point Moore straight in front of the red and white lighthouse is a small and relatively short wave, Kiddies Corner. A good warm-up for the hardcore action 300m further north at the fast, powerful left-hander at Hell’s Gate over shallow reef – a real mast-breaker. If anything goes wrong you’ll need to be a damned good swimmer to get back to the point, as strong currents pull past the harbour and right across the bay. If you’re lucky you’ll end up in the standing-depth waters of St. Georges Beach ready to shower off in the comfortable beach park and bundle up the remains of your kit on the grass. Sunsets boasts Geraldton’s longest wave in big swell, endless lines breaking over the sandbanks. It’s best in light winds when the faces stay clean. Spot-X sees waves when everywhere else is flat, yet strangely rarely tops 2m. It takes patience and a 4x4 to get there, but for riding and aerials it’s still better than Coronation Beach. The massive bay is completely sheltered inside, perfect for beginners and mirror-flat freestyle action. Outside there are waves on the reef, slightly onshore during the day but conditions get classy as the wind turns offshore in the evening. Coronation is the area’s best all-round venue, hence it’s such a local favourite. The wide sandy beach can hold a crowd, as can the car-park with its toilets and BBQ area. Heading north from Geraldton, most choose Highway 1 to tear through the 500km of wasteland to Gnaraloo. Only a few take the slow coast-road for a flat-water session in Port Gregory, or 'Kalbarri’ on the brown water of the Murchison River. Jakes is more appealing, but there are three prerequisites: 1) big swell so the waves are long enough. 2) loads of wind to get the surfers off the break. 3) a high level of ability in front of the rocks. A detour to Nanga Bay is much more relaxed with flat, standing-depth water – or try 'Shark Bay’ in Denham. But the highlight of any trip along the west coast is Gnaraloo where three sections of reef become one, allowing over 15 bottom turns in good swell. The price for this world-class wave? Sharp coral reef, a rocky launch (wear boots!) and complete outback isolation. It’s over 1,000km from Perth, 150km to the next town at Carnarvon, there’s no drinking water, no food and no doctors. Instead, when the wind dies it’s over 40°C and a million flies invade – a meditative travel experience. Flat water is also available up here in Gnaraloo Bay, it blows cross-off in the afternoons for speed runs over turquoise green waters. If there’s still fuel and water in the tanks, you could drive another 300km up to Exmouth where a fabulous left-hander awaits at the lighthouse.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide
Nur wenige machen den Umweg entlang der Küste um in Port Gregory oder in Kalbarri auf dem braunen Wasser des Murchison River noch eine Flachwasser-Session&hel…
Only a few take the slow coast-road for a flat-water session in Port Gregory, or Kalbarri' on the brown water of the Murchison River.