Western-Australia

W.A., and more specifically the Margaret River region is the best region in Australia for a surf trip. This is an opinion, but it is also a fact.

WHERE:

From Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, the Margies region sticks out copping all kinds of South Ocean juice. It’s about 3 hours drive from Perth.

PERTH:

Is a strange, unsettling city. Don’t hang around in Perth. From a distance it kinda looks like Manhattan with the skyline, but when you get in the middle there’s nobody there. Gives me the creeps...

WHEN:

The Margaret River Prime WQS event (now the Margaret River Pro on the 'CT), raising awareness for drug use, happens in March (April) for good reason -- the austral autumn is a fine season for swell, wind, weather, water temp. You can get waves any time of course, but autumn tends to be when the locals recommend.

HOW:

Campsites are reasonably priced, well appointed and situated. I personally camped all around Oz and found the W.A. sites the best by far.

CLIMATE:

Kinda desert-y. Real cold early in the morn, will warm up nicely by lunch. You can wear shorts if you’re hard, a springy, or short arm steamer if you’re a bit of a wuss. In their winter you’ll defo need a wettie.

WAVES:

Are fucking amazing. Kinda like the North Shore in some parts (like the Lefties stretch) with another spot every hundred yards. The variety is mind-blowing: tubes, turns, walls, shoulders, drops, ramps, heavy as fook, mushy forgiving... You want it you got it.

BOARDS:

From wee shortboard to step ups and even bigger, boards break readily here so err on the side of heavier glass and round pintails rather than double wing keels.

THE SCENE:

It’s got a bit of everything. It’s kinda rural Oz bogan redneck, but with a touch of hippy organic chic, new wave artsy winey boho... Way less full of cunts than Byron etc anyway.

DANGERS:

Sharks. Fatal attacks are no joke. Waves are heavy. North Point, The Box, these places mean business. Watch out for roos while driving, and watch out for the Caves Road, way too many fatal RTAs on this stretch.

ALSO:

If you know someone with a 4x4, try and go surfing with them. Almost all the spots are down bumpy dirt roads. OK in your 2wd, but for some out the way jems only 4x4 will do.

west-australia

Adam Melling parks at North Point. OK it ain’t Dorian ‘Drop of the Decade’ size, but it’s more than enough for an average bear to get excited/scared/kegged on. Photo: Frieden

TEN REASONS YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD GO TO W.A.

(Rather than Byron/Goldie/Northern Beaches)

1. Better surf.

2. You might see Taj.

3. Nice and cool at night (more comfortable sleeping in tents).

4. Wine tasting.

5. Hardly any hipsters.

6. Hardly any Brazzos.

7. Hardly any French.

8. Variety. More breaks per inch than anywhere, except maybe the North Shore.

9. Red dirt & roo bars on every car... Just feels more like you’re actually in Oz.

10. The spots have cool names: 3 Bears, Other Side of the Moon, The Womb, Umbies, Boodjidup, Cowaramup, Pea Break... some understated, some fantastical, some Aboriginal, all tremendous nomenclature.