Submitted by gdh on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 08:58
The great lakes vid got me thinking, whats the weirdest place you've surfed in Aus? Now you don't have to get specific, many spots are in the midst of population centres but personally I've been surprised with fun waves right up the Spencer gulf on the West side and Far North QLD. Mostly wind swells but if you find the right corner or rocky outcrop there's a wedge or two to be found. I've heard older rumours of blokes surfing lake Eyre in the great flood back in the 70s...now that would be something else. I think there was a report years ago into the arguments for filling part of the Eyre basin via a channel from the Spencer gulf....
Wow Lake Eyre, that's mental.
Probably the weirdest was with Stu during a huge easterly storm swell. Well inland up a river and down the bottom of a leach filled walk through the bush. Probably has only broken 1/2 times since. Not another soul out until a goatboater rounded the corner and proceeded to snake and drop in on us! WTF
Craig , Surely those pictures you post of hollow waves at Manly rate as a novelty ?
Come on , mate . you know that’s funny....and appropriate.
My old man tells a story of surfing a pointbreak-style wave in an inlet next to a well-known golf course decades ago. Cyclone swell. Apparently it was a great session - 4-6ft with no-one else out - until he noticed a couple of sea snakes swimming around...
I'm not sure if it's ever breaked since then, and I've never heard of anyone else ever surfing it.
Surfed plenty of waves in the North of WA during cyclones that could be considered novelty waves. Some are popular and well known . Some are not so well known but still good quality waves.
Also surfed microwaves from the wake of massive ships along sandbars in the North West on an old sailboard Hull. The Fin used to plough along the bottom it was that big and the water was so shallow.
I once had a surf about a dozen or so miles north of 1770. You wouldn't go there just for a wave but it was an interesting addition to the trip.
Not sure if it counts but also done some bodysurfing on the inside of the Swain Reefs as a distraction to picking up trochus shells.
Christ that's beautiful around there.
I've surfed the bank just off from the fish co-op at Forster. That's about a km up the lake from the wall.
The old boy used to ride Bay Surf at Port Hacking in an old homemade surf kayak, and he swears he's caught waves right up near Lilli Pilli on big swells and high tide. Think the sand deposists were a bit diffrent then.
As Craig said, there was the wave up the river we surfed.
This sub-Antarctic secret spot we ran on Swellnet a few years back would be nice to score. I doubt it's ever been surfed.
Little known fact is that Australia has tidal bores like the River Severn, though they break in croc-infested country.
Here's a couple of froot loops dodging crocs and a cyclone for a knee-high wave on the Styx.
And here's the one on the Daly River. Looks unreal around the 30sec mark, but crocodiles.
Lastly, let's see Dylan Graves take on this fucker in the Kimberley. The speck at the 20sec mark is a 40ft boat struggling against the flow.
This was during an ECL so as you can tell the water was disgusting and shark AF..
Meanwhile in Manly (excuse the watermark)..
PS that last vid is nutty Stu!
Surfed the point below Parrawi Rd on the southern side of The Spit in cyclone Colin running most of the way to the bridge. There would be mayhem there if we had a similar swell today.
Oh and watched a few groms (young and not so young) surf Dee Why rock pool a couple of years ago.
@stunet my mates and I used to surf the Bay break in the hacking regularly through the mid seventies to early eighties. Used to paddle across from Dolls Polint. Somtime used to get the ferry across to Bundeena and walk down to the boat ramp and paddle from there. Some crazy paddles back across when the tide was on the way out. Once got swept from adjacent to inlet of Yowie bay out side and eventually paddle in at Oak Park!! Long walk home that day. ha ha well worth it.
Lived on Tassies North west Coast for a few years as a grommet.
The coast rarely gets ocean produced ground swells mostly just short period wind swell or left over wind swell, the whole coast is basically a novelty wave.
Devonport river mouth would be one of the more well known novelty type spots breaking down the inside of a river mouth like the old left in the Gold Coast spit but mellower and much longer.
Few other waves where you surf over or end up on concrete boat ramps.
I think i have a crush on Debra Soh.
there's a really nice river in NSW where you can surf right up river for a while.
crystal Clear water with dolphins and turtles.
North coast of Tassie too, as per the thread. Had very few expectations and a solid work schedule to get through over winter. Lots of really good volcanic rock outcrops flat day after day - until they are not. And then it's on with great tidal variation. Luckily, got a pointbreak at head and a half, and this pretty solid beachy literally breaking right in front of houses, which was a spectacle, the white water zone pretty much ended in someones yard.
Body surfed tiny barrels, most perfect I have ever seen, at a rivermouth east of Portland one day. Incredibly epic shape.
Heard of people surfing the ferry wake at Pt Walter sand bar back on the swan river when summer flat spells on. I'd also say southern ocean near WA/SA border too, novelty as very few would surf it or be comfortable out there for long periods of time? No shortage of waves or adventure.
Those river/inlet setups sound pretty fun. That a goatboat joined you and then burned you was funny as!
I use to surf a great little left reef a couple of times a year when the conditions were right just off the kailis fish factory in dongara in the early 80's kind of crazy also as we hooked many big tiger an bronzies just off the beach there as well
I was camping on one of the islands in the Capricorn Group off Gladstone in the early 90s (Wikipedia says it was 1992) as Cyclone Betsy was approaching from the Coral Sea. We caught some nice little peelers on the dropping tide on the western side of the reef (opposite to the open ocean) before we packed everything and everyone (a group of 15-20 families) up and caught the last barge out of dodge before the storm hit.
She ended up turning left and heading south, missing the island entirely, but we didn't want to take the risk. I should say, our parents were the risk averse members of the group. We were up for it.
We snagged some great waves at the Noosa points on the way back south, but that was less of a novelty, because even back then every man and his dog were on it.
Don't let the bastards grind you down
What about those waves further up the bay from Corsair inside the heads at Port Phillip?
ID that place in Tas is the only place in the world I reckon you can get barreled over a boat ramp. Rip is a bastard though!!
Adelaide's metro beaches don't really rate as novelty in a stormy, but I've surfed Brighton, Glenelg and West Beach each in a rare sizeable and clean summer groundswell and picked off 1-2ft waves all to myself.
The most enjoyable session I had last year was at a little stretch ofcoast that myself and a mate sneakily enjoy fishing. We’ve never seen anyone else there - touch wood. I’m not sure if most people are even aware of its existence as there’s no real track in there and it’s only visible if you use binoculars from about ten kilometres away , but it’s a beachie with highly variable sand formations as it faces dead into the prevailing swell source on a coast which cops a LOT of swell.
So we get to surf it every now and again , but last year a monster swell rearranged the sand into a bank that I wouldn’t have credited was possible. For three consecutive days we poached it , surfing incredible waves with just the two of us. The banks also created ideal lagoons at low water which teemed with hungry fish on the incoming tide.
A little slice of the dream .
Any old Perthites surf Rous Head back in the day? Was a man-made bay further south of Sandtrax in the shipping container area. It was filled in around 10 years ago but was a great wedge in huge cold fronts
Late 90's in the Margarets region was bush bashing with a mate down some tracks and found a spot over looking a random little beach late one arvo. Couple of beers and buckets later just enjoying the vista the ocean glasses off and we notice a right at the north corner starting to peel. Looked small from our vantage point but decided to head down with the boogers for a look....turns out it was 2-3ft barrelling rights, sheet glass and just the two of us trading waves for an hour....still remember it like yesterday, epic.
There used to be an off track in the local National Park that led to lookout with a radical viewing platform keyed into the edge of the cliff with concrete and reinforced steel.
The view was spectacular but an engineering assessment reveled that there was a risk of the whole thing collapsing into the sea 300 feet below the crumbling cliffs
The Parks decided it was easier to shut the entire 3.5km road off then to deal with making the area safe.
Local surfers and those in the know were devastated because of a fickle and novelty right hand reef that broke below the towering cliffs in a particular set of conditions that meant nowhere else in the area would be surfable.
So surfing the wave became much harder and it went off most people’s radar.
A few years later I got a job in the national park and discovered an unused and overgrown goat track that led to the cliffs above the wave that was hidden behind thick scrub off the side of the road.
The track was impossible to see if you didn’t know it was there but if you nosed the front end of your 4wd slowly into the scrub in precisely the right spot the bushes would part like the entrance to Batman’s hidden cave and spring back behind as you drove through.
A really good surfer I met from Peru who had married an Adelaide girl and moved to Australia came down one day on a solo surfing sojourn and was bummed because conditions just weren’t quite right for everywhere.
Except for this spot.
I mentioned it to him as an option but said I wasn’t prepared to scratch the shit out of my 4wd to surf it as the track was so overgrown. He was keen so we bashed down there in his late model 4wd.
Needless to say we scored epic waves and he was frothing at the turn around from a likely surfless bum trip.
He ended up needing to spend a couple hundred dollars to get the scratches professionally cut and polished out of his paint job or his wife would have had his balls for breakfast.
It was probably the best I’d surfed it but I’ve never surfed the wave since.
I love reading stories like that YS, those places are out there, know a couple myself. Mums the word.
Awesome stories & great thread.
When I used to live in Yamba there was a little sandstone finger of rock that would break when it was 1ft and under. There were winter days where it was like sheet glass and nobody would be in the water anywhere in town because it was so small.
This little spot wedged up an a-frame and you could pull in behind it, and watch the cunji appear below you as you squeezed your frame through the backdoor of the peak and pop out the other side half a second later. The thing about it was that it was so hollow you could literally fit inside a 1ft barrel without touching the sides.
Go deeper Taylor, go deeper!
Hamilton Island windswell in front of the resort at high tide on a hired SUP was a surprise on a "no surf" family holiday..
Super hollow small inside reform hugging Greenmount rocks one day when everyone was on the outside bank. Got deep tubes and speed runs and heaps of waves for an hour and no one spotted it despite being right in full sight - was a very sweet session and felt like a secret novelty spot.
A frame rebound peak barrels at a beach than is normally a closeout due to a once in a long while sand build up near a rocky bit.
I reckon we ran a WOTD from Hammo many years ago, during a cyclone swell. Looked unreal.
The best ever novelty surf was a beach with a rocky headland that peple surf but with no special merits. Behind the beach is a sealed off lagoon that almost never flows to the ocean. A long time ago on a big east coast low after massive rains the lagoon broke through and carved out a perfect 100 metre sandbar. The first day the wind swung the new point was brown water barrels with a rip from hell. But if you hugged the line up you could get good waves.
The nect day the water was aqua blue, sun was out and it was like Kirra. Five of us surfed it to ourselves. The weird thing was that people were checking it out - heads would pop up over the dune and we waited for the crowd to appear but they never did. They must have missed the sets and everywhere was working
Caught so many waves and the surprise factor made it all the more special.
Once a decade spot.
Used to surf this fun little left reef for about 3 years on and off,held up to about 4ft and when the swell was bigger another left further up a bit would break.Took it for granted that it would always be like that but it stopped breaking for what ever reason and hasn't broken for the last 10 years......
Yep, re the Rous Head comment above. Park on the side of the road and walk down the rocks?
More than likely went with VelocityJohnno.
Fernando Yorkes? Nice fella.
The one and only wetdog. Had many memorable surfs with him back then. He really was a frother! Lives in Bali these days I think.
I wouldn't call it a novelty wave, but within driving distance of a major port on the east coast is a stretch of beach about 6km long that rarely sees more than a handful of surfers. Most head to the better known, car access spots at either end, but if you can find the tracks or are prepared for a walk along the beach, the results are well worth the effort. On a good day you can take your pick of dozens of deserted banks. Best surfed with a mate due to the isolation and access.
@ Craig nets
Where were you?
What's up Dean? When.