The Coral Coast could just as aptly be named the Windy Coast - if Paris is the City of Lights, then Geraldton is most definitely the City of Wind! These conditions are what make Geraldton, and the entirety of the windy Coral Coast, a haven for kitesurfers and windsurfers. There are water sports hot spots scattered generously along the Coral Coast, from Cervantes all the way up to Exmouth (as well as incredible conditions in the Coral Coast's neighbour; Lancelin).
Conditions are ideal throughout the Summer months, with warm prevailing southerly sea breezes drawing windsurfing enthusiasts from across the globe.
Here are a few of the best sailing spots across the Coral Coast:
Dongara-Port Dension's South Beach is a family favourite, and your one-stop-shop for surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, paddle boarding and sandboarding. From November through to March, this beach is highly popular among water sports enthusiasts, who make the most of the strong winds breezing into the Beach. Cars are permitted to drive along the sand, and the beach is equipped with toilet and shower facilities, as well as a nearby café. South Beach is the central focus of the Midwest Windfest, during which over one hundred kitesurfers take to the water each day over the course of the fest.
An easy 2.5 hour drive north of Perth, Cervantes is a small, friendly coastal town boasting superb beaches and fantastic windsurfing conditions. Windsurfers agree that Cervantes provides impressive consistency from October - March in terms of sailing conditions. Cervantes is a great windsurfing location for a range of skill levels, with clear water and little to no waves. Thirsty Point is a popular location for windsurfers, with waters in this area reaching a depth of about two metres for over a kilometre off the coast. Also a popular among surfers is the hospitable local pub, where you can enjoy a cold beverage and hearty meal after a day out on the water.
Leeman and Green Head are located a short drive north of Jurien Bay, and both have gleaming reputations among water sports enthusiasts - in fact, “Screamin’ Leeman” is the name commonly used, as the town's beaches often provide thrilling conditions to sailors. Windsurfers and kitesurfers agree that Point Louise in Green Head is the ideal spot for wave sailing, whereas the stretch from South Bay (Green Head) through to Leeman is ideal for slalom sailing.
There’s a reason why Geraldton has earned itself the reputation of being Australia’s windsurfing capital. Home to numerous sailing hot spots, and the infamous Coronation Beach, Geraldton’s reputation has spread globally, attracting visitors from across the world.
Point Moore is a favourite surfing spot due to its variety of conditions – the Point is home to a sheltered bay, as well as an outer reef and abundance of waves. This makes it perfect for surf sailing as well as flat water sailing and kiting, and offers conditions suitable for beginners through to experienced surfers.
Sunset Beach, located to the north of Geraldton, is the ideal location for more experienced windsurfers, with conditions perfect for jumping and wave riding.
Any avid windsurfer will know Coronation Beach – commonly referred to as “Corros”. You’ll hear a wide range of accents at Corros, with internationals flocking to the beach to experience the windsurfing and kite surfing conditions first hand. Conditions at Corros are ideal for jumping and wave riding, with spectators often watching from the pristine beach. Corros offers nearby camping and toilet facilities, and is monitored by a local ranger.
Windsurfing and kitesurfing equipment can be purchased in Geraldton – keep an eye out for second hand gear being sold for notably low prices, as international visitors often sell their gear before heading home.
Many sailing enthusiasts will tell you that Gnaraloo is the best spot to sail in the State. Accessible through Carnarvon, this hot spot is best suited to experienced and confident windsurfers. Razor sharp reef and plenty of rocks make certain areas difficult to reach, but sailors will assure you it’s well worth the effort. There are less obstacle-ridden areas, such as in the middle of the bay, which can be accessed by launching from the beach. On top of the world class surfing conditions, the sunsets at Gnaraloo are absolutely spectacular.
The conditions provided by Sandy Bay are ideal from September through to early November, with flat water sailing being the Bay’s specialty. The Bay is home to shallow waters, where sailors can skim across the waters at high speed. As well as windsurfing, Sandy Bay is a top fishing spot, where you have a good chance at snaring a catch from the crystal clear Indian Ocean.
A six to seven hour drive north of Perth, Kalbarri is a family-favourite holiday location, as well as another WA windsurfing hot spot. Kalbarri is located where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean, with the river mouth providing an awesome spot for sailors who are keen to take on some waves. The nearby Red Bluff is a favourite among experienced windsurfers due to its intense winds. Surfers also flock to Jakes Point to catch the waves. Ideal windsurfing conditions can be found from November through to January.
The Shark Bay World Heritage Area is home to a handful of phenomenal windsurfing and kitesurfing hotspots, which are even more incredible due to the stunning landscape of the area. Located in Francois Peron National Park, Little Lagoon and Big Lagoon are popular among water sports enthusiasts due to the shallow, clear water coupled with the windy summers that roll into the park. Other notable windsurfing and kite surfing locations in the region include Denham Beach, Eagle Bluff and Shell Beach.