During flat spells, or onshore days I've often pondered this topic. I'd go out on a limb and say the Ballina region would possibly have the most surfable days / year of anywhere in Oz.Gets all the QLD summer cyclone stuff, gets all the winter ECL south swell, Points everywhere, beachies.
You've got Margaret River - probably most consistent for swell - but winter can be 10ft and onshore for weeks
South Coast NSW - might be up there, so many nooks and crannies for all conditions but summers can get pretty flat
West coast Taz - see Margs
What does everyone think?
South Coast NSW - always plenty of quality waves when there is a solid swell running, as you say there's nearly always somewhere offshore. However in late autumn/winter we can get weeks with nothing but tiny southerly groundswell and westerly winds - it's just as useless as late spring/summer when the typically small swell is often decimated by all night onshore NE winds. Basically it's best to have a backup plan for when the surf is below par (no i'm not suggesting golf) , something like spearfishing is ideal.
My vote would be for the central coast NSW - picks up more south swell than the south coast, but is far enough south of seal rocks to pick up NE swell too, unlike the hunter.
Have to agree with Scoopmaster, The NSW South Coast misses a lot of the S'ly swell pushing up into Sydney-Newcastle during winter especially if it's trying to refract hard around Green Cape.
For me the Seal Rocks region would have to be the pick. Exposure to swell from the S/SW to N/NE and somewhere to surf in nearly all wind conditions. Sure there aren't epic reef setups but plenty of options to keep you busy and warm water to boot.
Definitely not west coast of Taz, i lived a stone throw from there for a while, cops heaps of swell but not much escape from certain winds and winds 90% of the time are very strong.
Agree Ballina area is pretty consistent, actually the coast between Angorie to Byron would possibly see some of the best consistent high quality waves in australia.
As would the area around Ulladulla, and the Margret river coast.
Phillip Island in Victoria is also extremely consistent for surf able waves, beachies barely ever flat and if swell get a clean waves in any wind, however big drawback is the quality (apart from the odd reef) never gets epic like other areas i mention above.
I'd say the Byron/Lennox/Ballina stretch to pick up any sniff of swell but would also happen to agree on the central coast with almost any wind direction taken care of there and open to all swell directions.
On the M.P it would only be dead flat 3-4 days a year, normally your waiting for the swell to drop rather than pick up. You can go two weeks without the slightest sniff of an off-shore wind though..
The other place that gets HEAPS of swell is west Vic - but from what I here you can wait weeks for a let up in the wind. Never had much to do with the Cactus region - how consistent is it down there?
It can get a bit quiet in summer with 40deg days, lots of SE winds, early seabreezes and small swell. Too hot and flyblown on the land so you spend hours dangling your legs in amongst the salmon for some 2ft lefts. Anything wrong with that?
Report In, who’s had the Best Waves in La Niña? Ballina vs Central Coast vs Margaret’s.
In this day and age who would really want to tell the world how consistent their local area is ?
Certainly isn't Tasmania I can tell you that much.
Where's the most inconsistent then?
"Where's the most inconsistent then?"
Here's the state contenders just for areas (not individual waves)
Vic= Far east coast from 90 mile beach to Malocoota.
Tassie= North and NW coast.
QLD= Anywhere above Fraser (Bunderberg, Agnes waters and up past Cairns if you can even call them waves)
NT= Wind swells or storm surf.
Hmmm what would be the most inconsistent area for rideable waves in NSW???
What region has the biggest average wave height over the course of a year? Margs area or western Vic?
Not sure about Margs but in western Vic you could prob count on one hand the number of days below head high in a year.
Sunshine Coast is a hoax. I truly don't know how a committed surfer could live there...literally flat for months through the winter as south swells just march on by. Tassie is hard work too - either ten foot and howling onshore on the west coast or half a foot perfection on the east. Worked there for two months in the winter a few years back and drove thousands of k's searching every weekend - never got in the water.
I think West Coast Tassie would out do West Coast Vic for consistent size, although its almost always onshore so most of the time bigger waves go unsurfed and if it goes offshore its almost always howling offshore.
Ha ha agree on the Sunny Coast
In Oz ive lived, Tassie NW Coast, Vic Phillip Island, NSW Sydney, QLD, Goldie, Sunny Coast, Fraser Island,(and spent almost a year traveling up and down the East Coast, also lived in Indo for a season plus lots of travel there)
And im sorry to say but after Tassie NW coast and Fraser island (gets Swell but shit waves) yeah the Sunny coast was the worst, ive lived at both ends too, but the Caloundra end is the worst any swell misses it , and coast lacks good set ups too compared to many areas of Aust (obviously Noosa is the exception, but its so fickle)
Tassie can be good but yeah can be hard work you need to have a good knowledge of the waves and conditions and do a lot of driving and ideally know people on each coast to get heads ups on conditions and info on where the banks are, and even then lots of spots are rarely good for long, turns on for hours or a day.
But has so many different coast that opens up lots of options if you have time to drive.
Thanks Indo. Didn't think of Tassie. Only been a couple of times and they weren't surf trips.
"Sunshine Coast is a hoax. I truly don't know how a committed surfer could live there...literally flat for months through the winter as south swells just march on by. "
you don't realise what "literally flat" means ....until you live on a 'surf coast' that gets literally flat...
never lived on sunny coast but I'm assuming quite often there's still a ripple when crew are calling 'literally flat". I've seen crew write the same about the goldy "...why would you live there? "...literally flat for months..." "...barely gets above 2 foot..." "... so crowded you can't get a wave.. " etc.
I lived on the goldy for years, never really saw it 'literally flat'. try living on a coast where a surf day is affectionately called "lumps on the lake"
but having said that, it all changes from year to year, sometimes the lake can seem to always have a ripple... and crew from margaret river on an east coast surf trip might not even get their board out of the car because "it's flat"
it's all relative...
I could say where I think one of those most consistent coasts are... but I won't... and once again, it's all relative... what do you call a surfable wave? ...is it perfectly clean? ...is it above 1 ft? ...how far do you drive whilst still contained within this mysterious surf spot?
...does stinking hot, fly blown, 2 ft., offshore, but howling, with ribs running up the face, 60 km + round trip, still count as a 'consistent surf spot'?
personally I'd call nice hospitable tree filled mountanous surroundings that almost always create a cleanish wave, regardless of wind direction, ...whether it's ground swell or wind swell... with a climate that encourages you to get out of the car, rather than hide within it, all within walking distance, 'the most consistent surf' ...hence all the good surfers there, ...whilst some of the 'more consistent' surf spots are full of b grade surfers and one trick ponies...
but it's all relative
with horses and ponies for courses
Yeah, some people have an odd definition of flat. Where I'm from it can get so flat that there's not even a swell surge of any kind, let alone something that even remotely looks like a wave. I'm talking mill-pond flat. Go to a small lake when there's no wind and that's what it's like. These people that call knee height flat: Ha!
it seems bizarre to me that coastlines in the southern ocean like Tasmania and New Zealand go flat so often while a lee shore like the Tasman sea coast of NSW so rarely does.
Barely seen a day below head high for months.
today was supposed to be 2ft and there were well overhead sets.
Pretty sure Albany coast has the consistently largest surf in Oz . Average greater than 3 metres.
god's own country...
that can often make a mockery of surf forcasts, if one is keen enough to keep the dream alive ...there's literal magic around those parts...
speaking of surf forcasts, and mockeries, anyone wanna guess why indo surf forcasts are so shit ...like way off shit, on marginal days...
lack of local knowledge?
or model shortcomings?
which might be one and the same...
Depends where you are talking in Tassie, all the coast face directions.
Tasmania's West coast never goes totally flat, and i doubt that whole pretty much inaccessible SW area would either.
North/North west coast is almost true dead flat close to 300 days a year but it faces north and is blocked by the mainland and King Island & Flinders Island etc.
East Coast gets similar swells to mainland east coast.
Then the South and South East area's have so many nooks and crannies, even the main beaches on the South Arm (Hobart surfers main area) is tucked away, swell direction is a big factor in regard to size, but on flat days a few hours away most days you could get waves at swell magnets (winds are often the issue though)
Maybe it's just how far swells have to go and islands etc face different directions, but yeah always seems like that swell forecast never comes, and then when its suppose to be small sometimes you get these nice pulses.
Hopefully Stu or someone knowledgeable is reading and can give us an answer.
Earth's rotation piling up water on eastern shores? Would North Pac great circle swell hit NSW?
*see freerides query above
Geez indo, you really know how to hurt a guy...'Hopefully Stu or someone knowledgeable is reading and can give us an answer'. Stu is probably planning retribution as we speak (type?).
Ha ha...you know what i mean.
Good question re which part of Oz gets the most swell over the course of a year.
Like others said I'm guessing West Coast Tas, West of Cape Otway Vic, Southern WA?
Craig would know
South Oz's South Coast (i.e. Victor Harbor) never rates a mention for wave quality (and rightly so, too), but... days without rideable waves are rare. Plenty of coasts have much better waves, but also have long stints where you can't surf at all. That never seems to be an issue at Victor, as long as you peg your expectations appropriately low.
All depends what you want.. quality or quantity are two of the most commonly discussed characteristics, but flexibility (under a wide range of conditions), temperature (easier to surf poor/average waves in warm water) and geography (how far you've gotta travel to get wet) are also worth considering.
I think Craig has discussed it previously (and ruled it out) but would an artificial reef work along there, Ben?
Maybe harness existing rocky sections at the point or along the chiton stretch?
Thermalben - it lacks wind protection, particularly from the E-S quadrant (maybe one or two spots might 'cope' with the wind, but pretty poorly). Sure you've got the mid but it's too protected.
One thing I will say is there's a couple of longer stretches of beach there where you can pretty happily find a wave/surf to yourself. Just lower quality as you said.
I've always been a Southern Coast of Aus resident - and one thing I will say is sure we get more consistent and powerful swells, but we really miss out on the 'fun factor' surfs. You know, those playful, peaky, super consistent 2-4ft sessions. The type of surfs you want to have to rinse off a hard days work or if you just have say 30 mins before you need to start your day. Everything down here is less consistent....waves are bigger and more significant events. Short surfs are just not as feasible - you need more commitment and time.
Keep it under your hat Blowin .... yeah we get a lot of swell, What we lack in the Great Southern is structure, unless you’re into full on slabs.
What good ground we do have requires acute swell direction. Other than that it’s all sand, forever shifting sand. But multiple wind options.
It’s a hard coast to work with a lot of driving, if you don’t have a 4x4 you’re screwed. I’m just getting in the car to go..... here’s the other thing. I’m about to drive a 300km round trip crossing my fingers that the banks are good.
Basically WA is a big hoax boys you’re better off staying home.
Haha, yeah, all those clips the wa pros put out they’re surfing terrible waves! Poor guys...
I'm hard-pressed to think of the last time I had an onshore session. 2009?
Up the Cape and round the other side don't count.
Or rehab swimming/body whomping in Winter.
Probably on a visit back to the old hometown?
Anyway, been cooking here the last, what month? With two pretty big ones chucked in. Weekenders, but.
Going for a look now.
Surely you don’t have time to surf with all the meme postin’ that goes on around here?
Consistently what though.
Can't surf if it's flat, true, but all cake and no cream makes Jack a dull boy. Jill too.
Genuine thanks to all who contributed to this thread.
Just learnt heaps about where and when to surf trip in this big country, and when not no. Beers all around gentlemen.
Hey Ben, I dunno if you've been watching the reports for the old stompin' grounds too closely lately, but one thing it definitely hasn't lacked is consistency, except in completely the wrong direction.
I've only been surfing this neck of the woods for about 15 years or so, but this has to qualify as the most consistently shit spring/summer/autumn in my memory. Virtually non-stop southerlies for months, with only a day here and a morning there with offshores, usually coinciding with low points in swell or, at best, the fading back end of one. It's been farking awful, even by the almost-coast's low standards.
Have to agree surfstarved. Definately the worst summer in living memory for the Victor region for me. Of course there's been waves down south....just zero quality. The west coast on the other hand hasn't been too shabby :)
I don't disagree that it's been a terrible summer at Victor. Just odd that I can't recall many, if any days that I drove home surfless from the South Coast. And this was pre-forecasting so there was a lotta driving down when you didn't really know whether it was going to be shit or just average (or surprisingly good).
Or maybe I just frothed too hard.
Takes a lot of frothiness to get out on the South Coast some days. I only surf it when I'm back in Dec / Jan for a family holiday but generally limit it to the PE stretch most of the time (unless it's good out west). Can't bring myself to surf the slop dished up along the Middleton stretch when it 1-2ft and howling onshore. Not to forget the the brown and opaque water, thick seaweed and weak waves breaking hundreds of metres from shore.
West and SW facing spots on the limestone coast have had their good days, Cold water tho. sharks, biting flies and snakes. Best you all never come here
South coast. Can be flat as a pancake for months got to to watch the weather systems and make a runner for it when its on.
Yeah that area is solid just need the same conditions as MP which seem to be bloody rare lately.
MP has had a shocka summer. Finally light offshore yesterday...but 6-8' perfect lines with only a couple of tow in spots doable on low tide (and it was high). Frustrating and the wind turned SW by about 1 o'clock. No offshores in the forseeable future when is this shithouse run going to end. Craig, Ben, anybody or just crickets?
I can't figure out why the Mornington Peninsula doesn't get more swell. Seems to have a pretty open window to the SW. Most be some cruel quirk of bathymetry.
Worked N Tassie coast and there are some epic setups, but the wait is months at times!
Had some great reef surf, here today, gone tommorrow. And an overhead beachy with takeoff right in front of houses, that was trippy, wonder if Indo knows the spot...
Doesn't Gunnamatta get the same amount of swell as Woolamai?
Im always surprised on how much swell most areas of Vic get with Tassie and King Island where they are.
Summer hasn't been that hot or that many straight offshores but there has been a decent amount of swell, personally i swear we get more swell than when i was young in the 80s & 90s and then add in the grommet factor where waves seemed bigger.
That swell yesterday was really nice though, just such a pity it was the weekend.