Sailing spots in Western Australia.

This text was from a page by Patrik Hamlyn. Unfortunately I cannot find the URL of the site from which this came or I could have linked directly to it, and my email address for Patrik does not get through. I can not find any reference to the original any more. I include the text here because it is informative. I do not claim ownership, it is Patrik's work. I have added a few photos with appropriate text. I hope Patrik approves, and will continue to allow me to include his excellent precise of the spots described. Here is Patrik's description:

In WA the main sailing season (as in the rest of Australia) is from November through February. Some places get plenty of wind at other times of year, though. The main source of wind during the 'on' season is the sea-breeze, which can easily blow every afternoon for weeks on end. In a good season, the wind will blow five to seven days a week in the middle of the season. In a bad season, expect three to four days in any week. The wind usually starts up nice and light for beginners in the morning, before the sea-breeze comes in any time from eleven to four, anything from 15 to 35 knots.

Places on the southern coast rely more on 'weather', ie frontal passages, and get more wind than the rest of the state during Winter.

Places North of Perth rely more on the sea-breeze effect, and the season can extend through March or later in the far North.

List of sailing spots:
(distance from Perth given first)

South of Perth:

750 km

Very scenic spot, lots of offshore islands, windsurfing comp in January. Estuary, flat-ish sea sailing and wave sailing. Wind here is nowhere near as dependable as in Perth, but you often get as much as seven straight days of strong winds, varying in direction as successive fronts pass through. Water can be a bit cold, even in Summer. In fact the air temperature can be a bit cold too. Personally, I would avoid this place during the main season because other places get much better wind, but it can be a good Easter holiday spot if you are lucky with fronts. Very good scuba diving here.


Another scenic spot, also very good for Scuba, (Dive the Sanko Harvest), but not a major windsurfing destination.

330km Augusta This can be a very nice spot, if you get the wind. When it blows, it blows hard for days on end, but there can be week-long gaps. Very nice caravan park run by the Shire, (Turner's Caravan Park), right on the edge of the Blackwood River Estuary, 200 meters from the sea. You can launch thirty feet from your tent (fifty feet for caravans), and sail out the mouth with two gybes. Excellent flat water/wave combination spot. Grass rigging, showers at the camp site and at the road-access point just up the road. Not-so-modern windsurfer and catamaran hire right at the campsite, nearest sailboard shop 50km North in Margaret River. Table tennis, trampolines, etc available in easy walking distance.

Margaret River

World-famous wave-sailing destination, gets some of the biggest surf on the coast when conditions are right. Advanced wave-sailing spot, slightly tricky launch, unfriendly carry to the water. More friendly launch/conditions available 1km South of the main break, with a nice tea-room and showers at the waters edge. Closer to Perth, so sea-breezes more dependable, but still not as good as Perth. This town is the centre of a lot of 'alternative lifestyle' types, making wave-boards, arty-crafty wooden and pottery-type things, tofu, cheese, wine etc. It is also in the centre of one of the finest networks of caves in the world.

This picture shows the keyhole and wave area at Margaret River. A fuller description can be found here

Busselton, Yallingup etc

The Southern edge of Geographe bay (North-facing shoreline). Also a good Scuba area (the warm West-coast current comes very close to shore here, resulting in some of the most Southerly hard corals in the world), this area is not a prime windsurfing destination, since the prevailing winds are off-shore. I have had a marvelous time in thirty knots at Busselton, though. 'Round the corner at Yallingup, you can sail the South Westerlies, but there will usually be very few other people there, and it's not the easiest spot to sail.


Fairly large town, very large estuary with shallow (knee to waist deep) water, fairly dependable sea-breezes. Lots of sailing spots, sailing club etc.


Nearest 'holiday house' location to Perth, real estate is not cheap here. A number of Sailing spots, very good flat water slalom available. Why would you go here, though, if you can go to Safety Bay or Perth or Lancelin, etc?

Safety Bay

Very good, dependable sea-breeze. Lots of grassed launch locations, active sailing club (if you like that sort of thing), lots of flat-water slalom spots but not much in the way of waves. Big negative - a lot of the time, there is tons of weed in the water, _all_ of the locals have weed fins.

Woodman's Point

This spot works in any wind except an Easterly, and has a variety of different conditions available. (Speed course, waves when wind is strong) Unfortunately it is not very developed, despite being very close to some pretty ugly-looking factory-ish sort of buildings, very little grass rigging, no showers.

Perth ocean locations

The following description are of the beaches along the west coast in Perth, from Fremantle going north along the coast road.

Leighton's (Port Beach, north of North Mole at Fremantle Harbour) (South to South-West winds mainly)

This picture shows the bridge that serves as a handy landmark for Leighton.

This picture shows the beach looking south.

Good for getting the wife used to waves, basically a slalom spot which has a tame wave

Dutch Inn: (Cottesloe)
(South to South-West)

Excellent wave sailing, but small car park and slightly dodgy launch. Recommended for more advanced wave-sailing types. (Can be hard on fins at low tide)

This picture shows the shelter at the top of the hill at Dutch Inn. This picture shows the main sailing area looking north, including the walk down to the beach. It is easier to take the rig and board down separately, unless you like carrying them together on your head.

This picture shows the sailing at Dutch Inn looking south on a windy day.

Brighton Beach: (Southern end of southern car park at Scarborough)
(South to South-West)

Reasonable wave sometimes, good jumping usually, always a nice strong rip and often a nasty wind-shadow right in the shore-break. Site of the world wave champs last year. Also start of the Sunset Slalom Classic.

Scarborough: (North end of northern car park)
(South to South-West)

Similar, but shower not quite so convenient. Use to sail here all the time, until they bull-dozed the parking lot. It's all fixed now, but I got used to Brighton.

Trigg, Waterman, etc: (Various beaches between Scarborough and Hillarys)
(South to South-West)

Tends to be difficult to park, tricky launch (rocks), lots of surfers. Some people swear by Triggs, usually people who live near by.

This picture shows the Cafe at Trigg beach. The food served here is great. This picture shows the main sailing break. It is usually full of surfers.

Mettams Pool

This is a small beach, with a lot of reef to the south and a small launching spot. The parking isn't much, however it does get quite a good wave at times. Study the reef from above before attempting to sail this beach.

This picture shows the area from the road. It is sign posted. This picture shows the sailing area to the north.

Hillarys/The Island: (North wall of the boat harbour)
(South to South-West)

Another good spot to get the wife into waves slowly, lots of parking, but no grass for rigging, no showers. Major advantage: you can get to The Island, which is about 2 km out. There is a good wave here - when conditions are right, one of the best wave-sailing spots in Perth. Good rides, excellent high jumping. Make sure your equipment isn't on its last legs before you set out for The Island. If you have to drift/swim in, you'll end up about 5km North up the beach.

This picture shows the the beach at Hillaries, and this picture shows an amazing house just across the main road from Hillaries beach.

City Beach:

City beach generally has a smaller shore shore break than Scarborough, but can be good sailing in S - S/W winds. It is usually sailed to the north of the groin.

This picture shows the beach looking north towards Scarborough, and this picture shows it looking south towards Fremantle.

Pinnaroo Point: (Whitfords Sailing Club launch site)
(Southerly through Westerly through Northerly)

Just about the only spot where you can sail in Westerly through Northerly winds on the sea. Also fair in South to South-West Basically another slalom/bump&jump spot for the wife. Good spot to go to if you want to try out your short board in a strong North-Westerly. No grass rigging, but shower/toilet block under construction and grass may follow in a year or two.

This picture shows the beach, this picture shows the rigging area and car park, while this picture shows some of the magnificent houses in the area.

Rottnest Island:

Sailing in all wind directions, but access not so easy. There is a ferry to the island but no cars are allowed. There are good roads for bicycles, so you could take a cycle-trolley of some sort for your gear. There is accommodation on the island, but book in advance.

River Sailing:

The Swan river in Perth has some of the most scenic sailing available anywhere, excellent for beginners (waste-deep water in large areas, warm, dependable winds which are light in the morning and get stronger in the afternoon). When the sea-breeze gets up over thirty knots, even the hardened wave sailors head for the river for some bump&jump.;

Melville Beach: (Applecross)

Slalom, chop-hopping in strong winds. Good in South through North-West winds. Not so hot in North-East. Windsurfer hire right in the car park, lessons available too. Windsurfing Perth and 2nd Wind are shops local to the area if you want to buy gear in this area.

Pelican Point: (next to UWA)

Same, but good in North-East through South-West winds (definitely no good in West through North). Windsurfer hire and lessons in the car park.

North of Perth:

(South to South-Westerly)

Good winds, excellent wave and slalom, and a camp-site right next to the beach. Couldn't ask for more (well, maybe grass rigging and showers). This is a major destination for "Euros" as they are known locally. There is very good on-beach hire available. The beach is drive-on (hard-packed, very fine sand) Lots of comps held here, including the Ledge Point to Lancelin downwind marathon, usually in early January, sometimes late December. Slalom conditions right off the beach, just keep going and you hit the wave zone, which is fairly tame (easy to dodge incoming waves), but the waves can be very good. You can get some huge jumps in here. This could be the best spot in WA. If you're not into sailing or fishing, forget it. There is _nothing_ else to do here!

This picture shows the Lancelin beach at Lancelin several years ago. The beach has been eroded somewhat, but the concept is still the same. Further details can be found here


Another favourite Euro destination, Geraldton has lots of excellent sailing spots, plenty of wind with a nice long season. Slalom, waves, windsurfing shop right at the premier wave sailing spot. Geraldton is a biggish town, a bit more to do here than Lancelin, but definitely no cultural centre. One of the best sailing spots in WA.

Further details can be found here.


Getting quite far North here, longer season for sea-breezes. Good sailing in the mouth of the river and in the sea. Lots of spots up the coast, including Gnaraloo (pronounced narloo), several hundred km North, which is fairly popular but pretty much out in the wilds and undeveloped, although apparently Gnaraloo station (that's a cattle station, no trains out here) is operating some sort of guest house - if you can find it!

Coral Bay, Shark Bay (Monkey Mia), Exmouth

Far North - lots of wind, tropical warm conditions, literally hundreds of deserted sailing spots. Not too many windsurfing shops that I know of. The Shark Bay Classic 100km windsurfing marathon is held here. This is also one of the premier dive destinations in the world, go to Exmouth March through May for whale sharks, July through November for giant manta rays. Giant Queensland groper can also be found by experienced dive operators (we're talking surrounded by a dozen VW-sized fish). The variety of small colorful reef fish and large pelagics is astounding. Don't miss the Navy Jetty dive in Exmouth.

This picture shows Coral Bay from the resort. Further details can be found here.

This picture shows The famous dolphins that visit Monkey Mia. Further details can be found here.

There are dozens of well-known spots in between all the spots mentioned here, but this should give you an idea of the seasons and winds. The best month for wind in Perth is November. December and January are usually very good as well. As you go North the season starts earlier and lasts longer.