Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents 148 Scoop Traveller December-June 2011
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GUIDE coral coast
January onwards sees variety on
the waves. Southerly winds are
still around, but they’re not as
regular as during November and
December. It’s common to get
a 40-degree day with ideal
east-northeasterly offshore winds.
Swell patterns vary depending
on the fronts that move across
the South West and push swell up
the coast. In autumn, the swells
become consistent, the southerlies
disappear and it’s not unusual to
have perfect offshore winds all day.
In Geraldton there are a range
of surf breaks to suit all surfers.
Mahomets Beach is ideal for
beginners, centrally located and
patrolled through summer.
Geraldton has two other
main beaches; Greenough to the
south, which is unpatrolled and
can get rippy, and Glenfields at
Drummonds Cove to the north.
There are several reef breaks
for intermediate to advanced
surfers including Hells Gates at
Point Moore, Flat Rocks (famous
within the surfing community),
Drummonds Point and Bowes River
near Horrocks. At Sunset Beach,
beach and reef break options need a
reasonable swell (over 2.5m) before
Larger and more challenging
waves are found at Jakes Point in
Kalbarri, or at the Abrolhos Islands.
Carnarvon and Exmouth is best
from June until September.
A daily surf report for Geraldton
is posted on gerosurf.com .au and
the local Geraldton Board Riders
competition season runs from
February to September each year.
Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
The summer months bring howling
sou-westerly winds along the Coral
Coast – perfect for windsurfing and
There are plenty of places to
get into the action. Lancelin has
good winds, excellent wave and
slalom sailing, beachside camping
and a newly opened kitesurfing
school. It’s also home to the
legendary Lancelin Ocean Classic.
The tiny community of Green
Head Leeman hosts the Screaming
Leeman windsurfing tournament
in January, attracting international
competitors. Conditions are good
here for experienced sailors.
Geraldton’s Coronation Beach
is a Mecca for Italian, German
and Swiss riders. With consistent
cross-onshore winds, Coronation is
regarded as one of the world’s best
locations for wave jumping. Other
popular spots are Point Moore,
Sunset Beach and St Georges.
South of Kalbarri, Port Gregory is
about the windiest spot in WA, a real
hot spot for kiting, with a perfect
flat lagoon and good beaches.
Further north, the vast Ningaloo
coastline offers ripping conditions
for hardcore kite surfers who camp
at Cape Range National Park.
Snorkelling and Diving
The Ningaloo Reef has amazing
biodiversity with spectacular
hard coral formations, soft corals
and sea fans, multiple varieties of
reef sharks, manta rays, turtles,
clownfish, nudibranchs, moray
eels, stingrays and colourful
profusions of reef fish. Peak
season is March to July, when
the weather is less windy and the
whale sharks are around.
The Exmouth Navy Pier is rated
by many diving figures as one of
the top 10 shore dives in the world.
At last count there were at least 200
fish species, including big schools
of trevally, snapper and barracuda,
as well as photogenic specimens
such as the graceful firefish,
colourful angelfish, moorish idols
and large Queensland gropers. The
pier remains a working defence
facility so diving there can only
be conducted with a licensed dive
shop or tour operator.
At the Muiron Islands, 9.8
nautical miles off the tip of the
North West Cape, the warm tropical
water is teeming with marine
life. The Lighthouse Bay area also
offers a number of excellent dive
sites, including Blizzard Reef, the
Labyrinth and Helga’s Tunnels. The
beautiful coral formations have an
array of tropical fish as well as reef
sharks and schools of pelagic fish.
Depths at Blizzard and Labyrinth
range from 12-18m. Helga’s has a
maximum depth of 30m.
Great snorkelling spots in Exmouth
include Lakeside (snorkel right from
the beach – a favourite for families
with young children); Turquoise Bay
(snorkel in the bay or experience
a drift snorkel) and Oyster Stacks
(best attempted at high tide).
From January to June, the best spots
in Dongara are the three jetties
along Arurine Bay. In Geraldton,
Point Moore and Separation Point
are good for whiting and herring.
One Mile Jetty in Carnarvon is a
very popular fishing spot; common
catches include mulloway, tailor,
bream and mud crabs. Blue
manna crabs appear between
March and July. Gnaraloo Station,
about 90-minutes drive north of
Carnarvon, is great for emperor,
mackerel, tuna, trevally, pink
snapper, jobfish, cod and sailfish.
In Kalbarri, the pelagic fish are
running in the deep water from
March to June and your chances of
landing good-sized mackerel and
tuna are good, especially at the
spot known as First Sand Bar. Blue
Holes is lucrative for tailor, or hire
The Coral Coast has
numerous options for surfers.
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