Surfs up – South Australia’s best surf spots
From bustling city beaches to sublime outback solitude, South Australia has some of the most spectacular coastline you’ll see anywhere in the world. Naturally, there are some incredible spots for surfing.
White sand, sapphire waters, spectacular cliff formations and unspoiled bushland combined with quality breaks offering a challenging variation of waves, await both the intrepid and those looking for a day trip out of town.
Easy does it
The Fleurieu Peninsula lies just south of Adelaide and is home to a number of breaks suitable for beginners through to advanced surfers.
Middleton beach is around 90 minutes south of Adelaide and local surf school operators find it a perfect learn-to-surf beach because of the long, rolling white waves that can be surfed here virtually every day of the year. Surf schools, like Surf and Sun Surf School and South Coast Surf Academy hold lessons in waist-deep water, so novices feel safe.
Nearby Goolwa is also ideal for beginners and there are other surf school and board hire operators, like Ocean Living Surf School, in the area.
Closer to Adelaide, 45 minutes south of of the city, and the likes of Port Noarlunga, Seaford and Moana offer a variety of beach and reef breaks for all abilities.
If you’re after more challenging breaks in the Fleurieu, head to Waitpinga or Parsons beaches around 20 minutes south of Victor Harbor in Newland Head Conservation Park.
Kangaroo Island roadtrip
Vivonne Bay, a beautiful beach with its huge arc of white sand and sparkling aqua shallows, is one of several fine surfing spots on Kangaroo Island. Catch the ferry with your board on the roof of your vehicle, or organise one when you get there. Book online with Surf and Sun to avoid disappointment.
Beginners will enjoy Pennington, Stokes and Hanson bays, while serious surfers head for Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park. Here, you really need to know what you’re doing. Southern Ocean rips and hidden reefs can make conditions treacherous, but the space and freedom in uncrowded waters that meet a bushland setting untouched by development, is the kind of experience dedicated surfers dream of.
Eyre Peninsula’s surfin’ safari
If you’re a surfer on a big South Australian road trip, stop on the Eyre Peninsula at Point Sinclair, or Cactus as it’s known to the local wave-riding community. It’s nearly 90 kilometres from Ceduna and requires some dirt road driving but it’s a destination in its own right for surfers around the world. The breaks are powerful, wide in range and best-suited to the experienced.
There are plenty of other great spots on the Eyre Peninsula. Its coastline is 2000 kilometres of – pretty chilly, so bring a wetsuit – Southern Ocean might and power. Breaks near Fowlers and Venus Bay are popular and you will find surf schools and board hire in many coastal centres.
Streaky Bay is home to huge waves it’s a sublime wilderness surfing trek that has a reputation for some of the best large waves in the world! .
If you’re seeking a surfing holiday with “it all”, then the Yorke Peninsula is the place for you. A well-catered-for holiday spot, from twoto-three-and-a-half hours-drive from Adelaide, you’ll find deserted beaches with awesome breaks.
It’s home to Daly Head Surfing Reserve, a stretch of breaks with varying degrees of difficulty. There are plenty of friendly locals to offer advice on which are for you along with surf shops and visitor centres.
Innes National Park features around half a dozen great surf beaches with Ethel Beach and Pondalowie Bay popular surf hot spots. You can camp nearby to keep a keen eye out for great swell and make the most of your time in this stunning and secluded part of South Australia.
Taking your board along
Although there’s a plethora of opportunities to hire a board, most committed surfers are keen to take their own. Fortunately, many airlines are ready to help. As long as your board does not go over weight restrictions, you can check it in as oversized luggage for free. “Each item of sporting equipment represents one piece of checked baggage allowance, provided that it does not exceed the maximum size and weight limits,” airline Virgin Australia decrees.
You will need to remove the fins, encase the board in a strong purpose-made bag for easy handling and check it in through the special area for handling such items.
It might mean travelling with a lighter kit otherwise, but what more do you need, other than your boardies, a wetsuit and your sunscreen?
If you do have other substantial items of luggage, you may need to pay to check in additional pieces.
If you do intend to travel with your board, consult airline websites for specific terms and conditions before you buy an airfare. You’ll usually find them on the luggage page.