This January I got myself away for my first ever winter kite surf trip, my destination was Australia WA Perth, many reasons brought me to this choice. The promise of sea breezes, crystal clear waters, white sand and finally and mainly hanging and meeting up with some amazing long time friends.
And Perth did not fail to deliver to all of these promises, I was lucky to have kited nearly every day apart from 3, and on 2 of these it was because the wind was a bit much for me……
Before I headed out I thought it would be good to top up my beach and local knowledge and hopefully meet some local riders, so I popped a post up on Seabreeze.com. Defiantly recommend this as 95% of the response was great and welcoming and got to meet some awesome people through it, just want to say a massive thank you to every one who got in touch and for all the great info. Especially my new beach buddy Kevin. Kevin is born and bred Perth, and always been in water catching waves surfing/ windsurfing and now kite surfing. His beach and local knowledge was invaluable and company awesome!
I was a lucky girl on this trip as I also had my awesome mates Pam and Marc, who now live in Perth, sadly they don’t kite (yet!!! Kite is in the post !!!) But they do know how to shred on a surfboard. They took me to some amazing beaches also.
Perth and its surrounding area has every condition for every level and type of kitesurfing that you could wish for, you do not need to travel far.
My first session on the water was at a beach called Leighton Beach which was based near Freemantle ca 20mins south from Scarborough. The beaches were so much quieter here than at home, there where only at one time max 5 people out, I even had the whole beach to myself for about 1/2.
This is a great location for beginners to advanced riders, the water was quite flat with some small kickers. The water is so clear with beautiful white sand and plenty of beach space for launching or friends/family to hang out on in between or watching all the action on the water. There are many nice other spots to ride around here.
Another popular beach just 5 mins down the road was Cottesloe , this beach is a little bit more busier (10-15 kiters) and there are also windsurfers out here. Wind surfers are to the south area and Kiters to the northern half. It is nice and flat close to the shore then little bit further out you can catch some waves. This is a more advanced beach, there is only a small beach area to rig up on, and there is not much shallow water area.
The crowd here is really friendly, if traveling on your own you will be soon chatting and meeting new buddies. Here I met a lovely girl called Maryline, who told me about a great girls group on facebook called WACK -Western Australia Chick Kiters. They are all super friendly on there, get in touch if you are heading over. And in the town there are lots of nice place to have food or have post kite drink. Check out Red Spoon, always went there for a pre smoothie / post ice cream.
Next stop was Lancelin with Kevin, this was amazing, loved this beach. Something for everyone, glass flat shallow lagoons, waves by reefs, kickers, snorkeling, surfing and ship wrecks. Lancelin is about a 1 and 1/2 hours drive from Perth. And so worth the trip, sadly only had one day here, defiantly coming back though for longer, so much to explore around here. You could really push all your limits here.
This is are great beach for all levels and what ever your style, so no arguing with mates on which beach to go to if you come here. This was my fist time to see waves this big breaking on a reef, it was amazing to watch Kev ride of and just disappear amongst them. And I was in kite heaven having basically the whole lagoon par one other to myself. Loved it, was on my 10m the wind did pick up so bit over powered but just stayed out boosting and having fun.
There is a massive beach area on to which you drive onto, loads of room to hang out and launch on. And there is also a windsurf area on the right.
If you have time you should also make the effort to head over to Rottnest Island, this place blew my mind. Absolutely stunning, my friends Pam and Marc organized this trip for my birthday,and my good friend Liam flew down from Brisbane to join us for it, the best one i have ever had, thank you so much all of you!!!
To get here you need to get a ferry , the island is ca 18km off shore from Perth. when you get to the island the only way of transportation is bus and bicycle. You can hire bikes with board racks to help with the load. Big lesson learnt here, we were on bikes, if you are bring all your kit, pack light!!! I was not prepared for cycling with 18 kilos of gear up hills into the wind. Took way to much stuff as I am always prepared for the worst. Luckily I have good mates who helped shed the load!
The accommodation is old army barracks, camping, hotel or on a boat (if you are lucky to have one or a friend’s :-)
We stayed in a barracks, loved this, brought back many memories of my youth, as this was what I grew up around having a dad in the forces. Our base over looked a stunning bay, giving us beautiful sun sets and rises.
There are so many beaches to pick from here, and each one is very individual giving you different conditions depending on wind direction and swell. Beautiful views no matter where you were.
We were the only kiters on the whole island that weekend, amazing!!! We kited only at Salmon Bay, as this was the best choice for wind direction and conditions. The bay is surrounded by reef, giving you the chance to go snorkeling if you wish, but also protecting from swell giving you butter flat riding conditions, freestyle heaven. There is not a massive beach are for launching and it can be a bit gusty around the shore, so recommend launching from the water. I would not recommend this beach to complete beginners, because as beautiful as it is, there are also a lot of things that could go wrong when it does. There is a lot of sharp reef surrounding you and sticking out. You are pretty much on your own here. So kite with friends.
The sand is so white and soft and the water the clearest I have ever seen, it really does not get any better than this. it was just Liam and me on the water. And Pam had her first ever body drag :-)
In the evening we had dinner and drinks at the Hotel Rottnest, there is something for every price range here, just alcoholic drinks can be a bit on the steep side. The view from here is also very nice and the sunsets amazing lighting the whole sky up with a spectrum of colour’s. and in the evenings there is either live music or a DJ playing quite decent music :-) The Island has plenty of shops to get food and drinks, you really do not need to bring any of this with you. Just you, some mates and your kit!
And last but not least, the local beaches to Perth.
I was staying in Scarborough, there are a few different spots to launch and ride off. There is Brighton beach,South beach this is more advanced here, there is a sand bar about 10m off the shore, which creates a big shore dump when there is a larger swell, and if like me from channel water areas, you wont be used to currents and heavy water like this. There is also only a small launch/land area. Was a bit of a learning curve for me, which has defiantly boosted my confidence at home :-) But there is a nice swell here if you are into your wave riding, not a freestyle spot on strong days. Just past the swim zones north is where I mainly went, the dump is not so and there is more beach space. It was not to busy too, even had it one afternoon to myself.
Further up north about a 20 min drive is Sorrento beach, this is a better location for beginners to intermediate, on the day I was there, it was flat water with some small kickers further out, And there are also schools there teaching. The beach here though is not that big, so i recommend launching from the water. But great freestyle progression area :-)
I could go on writing forever about Perth and its surrounding areas, but all good things have to come to a end. all you have to do now is book yourself a flight and get over there. This place is already a great kite destination, and I can only for see that it will become more and more popular as kite holiday place to go. The greatness about the place is that the beaches go on forever and you can always avoid the crowds (if you can find them!)
Worth the long haul flight, look out for great deals with Emirates, got mine for £770.