If you’re coming to The Golden State to chase the wind, then you’ve hit the right spot – kitesurfing in Geraldton takes wind sports to a whole new level.
Considered a mecca for well-seasoned kiters, this place isn’t for the faint-hearted. Geraldton is said to have some of the strongest onshore winds in the world! Even the trees here grow bending over at a 90-degree angle due to its powerful force and salty air, like they’re doing the limbo.
Offering some serious wind, and serious fun, Gero has a mix of waves and flat-water spots to suit all styles and levels. Its biggest celebrity is Coronation Beach, or ‘Coros’ to the locals, which attracts kiters from far and wide. But let’s not stop there.
This breezy shore is peppered with kitesurfing beaches along the entire Coral Coast, between Perth to Geraldton and beyond, it just depends on how much time you have. Western Australia brings the W-A-game with some of the best kiting conditions in Oz, set up perfectly with its white powdery sand, turquoise Indian Ocean, warm waters, hot summers, abundant marine life (including crayfish! 🦞) and daily water sunset to ride on home to.
So pilgrims, if you’re taking the holy trail up to Gero, here are our insider picks on the top spots to rig up and ride.
That Mega BWE (Big Wind Energy)
Ask any west coaster what’s the first thing they think of when you say Geraldton, they’ll probably say Windy! It has a bit of a reputation.
In Perth the wind is called The Fremantle Doctor because when it rolls in on that stinking hot summer’s day, it’s like the doc that cooled you down. But for Gero’s locals, it’s fondly called the ‘sodding southerlies’, because when she blows, she Cranks!
Geraldton cops stronger southerlies than Perth as the thermal winds accelerate as you head up the Coral Coast. The main kitesurfing season and best time to head out is summer and the shoulder months, with the winds kicking in from mid-October to late March. It’s common for most days to reach 20-30 knots, and not uncommon for winds to exceed this. Some days can get pretty wild!
A 7-8 metre kite is usually required, and a smaller 5-6m can come in handy too. There is of course the odd day or morning when a bigger 10-12m is called for.
Mornings often start off with the non-kiteable (offshore) easterly winds, called the ‘b-easterlies’ because they can also be quite ferocious, bringing all that hot air from inland. Then the prevailing southerly wind usually shoots in from midday, accelerating in intensity throughout the afternoon and can get quite gusty, so beginners may want to head out earlier.
Geraldton enjoys a Mediterranean climate where winters don’t really exist and summers can be baking. From mid-December to March, heatwaves are common and temperatures often reach the early to mid-40s °C, with the ocean a comfortable 24°C.
Word of note though, the sun can be pretty intense in this part of Australia so factor 50 sunscreen is recommended.. unless you want to turn into the crayfish that Geraldton’s famous for! Most kiteboarders also choose to wear a rashie for extra protection – it’s all about that slip, slop, slap.
Kitesurfing Spots in Geraldton and the Coral Coast
Geraldton is just a four-hour whip up the coast from Perth along the scenic Indian Ocean Drive, close enough to make it an easy kiting getaway for the weekend. But if you’ve got a week or so to spare and plan to see more of this breezy backyard, then a road trip up the entire Coral Coast is a popular holiday. But don’t worry, this strip is never busy!
Many coastal communities in WA’s Mid-West are born out of crayfishing (also called the Western Rock Lobster) and they’re some of the most isolated towns in the world, spaced apart by hundreds of kilometres and just a small population, so the vibe is very chilled. Gero is the region’s biggest hub with 45’000 residents, but it’s a pretty sleepy city so don’t expect late-night parties or heaps to do (apart from kiting!).
As you head out of Perth, Lancelin is just an hour away and also a ripper place to ride before the Coral Coast. Check out our Lancelin spot guide here.
Then the Coral Coast strip takes over, spanning over 1’100kms and goes all the way to Exmouth where the spectacular Ningaloo Reef lives. We’ll talk you through the most well-known spots and a few other lesser-known gems to consider, starting from south to north. You can of course take your own detour to find your own isolated beach, there are many. It just depends on how gutsy enough you are to head out on a remote spot where you’re the only kiter and if your car is suited to going off-road.
Tip: If you need to hire a car from Perth, we’d recommend using No Birds. We’ve used them loads and they have a great fleet of well-maintained cars. Whilst most spots are accessible in a 2WD, it’d be better to have an SUV or 4WD for comfort as there may be the odd gravel road. (Note, they charge an additional flat fee of $150 if you travel beyond Geraldton).
1. Hangover Bay
A gorgeous, quiet spot with turquoise water tucked away near The Pinnacles Desert. Conditions are similar to Green Head but the bay has shallower water and you’re likely to get this beach all to yourself. If you’re lucky, you may even have one of the local sea lions come to visit from Jurien Bay Marine Park.
The only thing to be careful of here are some areas of coral which can be quite sharp, just watch your step or wear booties to be on the safer side. Stingrays love to hang out in the shallows here too!
2. Green Head
This spot at Anchorage Bay in Green Head is protected by an outer reef so the bay is pretty flat with a bit of chop, and some good medium waves by the reef break about 1k out. There are a few local kiters here so you’ll probably see them out on a windy day.
To access, just head a little north of the jetty, down a dirt track for about 20m and park at the end in front of the old shacks.
3. Port Denison (Dongara)
Well-known South Beach in Port Denison (just south of Dongara) was home to the Kitestock festival for years, hosted by Kiteboarding WA. Just take one look and it’s clear to see why. It’s huge, and one of the most beautiful beaches around with white sand that looks like snow. You can drive up onto it easily, even in a 2WD and pick your spot. There are a few locals who ride so check in for some tips.
Although the water is pretty calm in the off-season, the beach is very exposed to the southerlies and does get pretty wavy. If you’re a flat-water rider or beginner, check out Irwin River mouth where the ocean is a little calmer.
4. Point Moore, Geraldton
This iconic spot is where it all started for Geraldton. In the old days, this was a windsurfing hotspot, and while it’s still great for kiteboarding now, locals have found other beaches nearby which they often prefer.
Point Moore is a large sandy beach that sticks out into the ocean; it’s very exposed so gets the strongest winds, and is more suited to intermediate/advanced riders. If there isn’t much wind forecast elsewhere, then head here.
You can drive onto the beach and pick a spot. There are two reefs on either side of the point; this gave a break its name – The Hell’s Gates; the waves are punchy and hard! The water is flatter on the inside of the reef, and less confident kitesurfers should stay close to the shore. Riding the outer wave is only recommended to more seasoned kiters due to quite strong currents and no safety from the bay.
5. Separation Point, Geraldton
Separation Point Beach sits just south of Point Moore lighthouse. It offers some great waves when the swell is up; it’s often a good place to go when Point Moore is blown out as it can be a little more sheltered. You can drive on the beach here or park just behind it. The wave is a little smoother and longer than Point Moore.
If you’re visiting between October – January, be aware of potential cobblers lurking amongst the seaweed in the shallows on Geraldton’s beaches. This is the Estuarine Cobbler’s breeding season, and they have spines on their fins coated with venom and when stepped on, can easily pierce your skin. Although not deadly, the pain is excruciating and can last for hours. The first aid advice for cobbler stings is to soak the wound in hot water for 20 minutes or so to relieve the pain. Some people choose to wear booties too as extra protection.
6. Sunset Beach, Geraldton
This beach offers some good wave riding when the swell picks up. When the tide is in, there’s not a lot of space to comfortably launch. There is a reef just offshore that offers some good waves, but the shorebreak can be pretty hectic if the swell is big!
7. Coronation Beach, Geraldton
One of the best and most popular spots on the Coral Coast is undoubtedly Coronation Beach, about 30km north of the city.
The bay is protected by a reef which creates a great mix of flat water and waves at the reef break. As the wind picks up and the tide comes in it can get more choppy, but overall the conditions are really good and it’s not tide-dependent.
The S-SW cross-onshore winds are ideal for this spot and are mostly consistent. It can get quite gusty from the beach to about 50m offshore, especially as the southerlies ramp up, and there are a couple of blind spots to the south of the launching zone to be aware of.
Do also watch out for the huge mounds of seaweed that get swept up a bit further down the shoreline, it can be a challenge to get through, especially if you’re a beginner!
Coronation Beach is split into two halves – the south side is dedicated to windsurfers and the northern area is for kiteboarders. There’s a kite school perched at the main launching zone which caters for all levels and has gear for hire. If you need them, try contacting the school before planning your trip as they’re also affiliated with the kite school in Shark Bay and may be up there doing a tour. At present there’s no other place to hire kite gear in Geraldton.
King Coros can get busy, particularly on the weekends and holidays which makes the rigging up area a bit tight for space. There’s quite a large campsite at the beach with facilities, but unfortunately no running water (BYO shower and drop toilets).
8. Whale Bone Point (aka. Sorka’s Point), Shark Bay
Just outside of Nanga Bay on your way to Shark Bay lies this absolutely gorgeous, yet relatively off-the-beaten-track spot called Whale Bone Point, or Sorka’s. There’s a lookout at the hilltop before you descend onto the beach giving you the best views of this sexy sandbar and jaw-dropping butter-flat water that surrounds it, though you may want to close your mouth to stop the flies getting in! (they start to get quite relentless from Shark Bay onwards).
The protected bay at Sorka’s Point makes it a ripper for all levels, especially freestylers, and chances are you’ll have this playground all to yourself. The only slight challenge may be access as you’ll need a decent car to drive down, suited to gravel roads and sand.
9. Nicholson Point, Shark Bay
Shark Bay, population 889, is where the red dirt meets some stunning protected waters in the Indian Ocean. Don’t worry, it was incorrectly named by the British pirate (and explorer) Bill Dampier who thought the area was heaving with sharks 🦈, but it was actually dolphins he saw! There are of course sharks about, but they’re more likely to be juveniles or reef sharks, and there’s a whole spectrum of other incredible marine life to observe as you kite- from endless fish species to turtles, stingrays, dugongs (aka, sea cows) and of course dolphins.
There are a few spots to ride in Shark Bay, but the place with the most consistent wind is Nicholson Point where the kite school operates from. It’s less gusty here than in other spots (just watch for a bit of turbulence near the cliff) and perfect for most wind directions- from SE-S-SW to NW. Offering lots of space and shallow-flat water, Nicholson Point pleases all levels, from freestylers to beginners, and usually has little traffic.
Just a couple of things to consider.. keep an eye on the tide times as the water can get a bit too shallow at lower times of the day. There are also sharp shells on the beach so do be careful with equipment, and you may be more comfy wearing booties.
If you’re more experienced and keen to take part in some challenges, check out the annual Boss of the Bay and Shark Bay Downwinder.
10. Little Lagoon, Shark Bay
Little Lagoon is another gorgeous butter-flat spot in Shark Bay and deep enough for foil boards. But word of warning, it has a few blind spots and the wind here can get really gusty, so it’s more for experienced riders. If your car can manage then drive on the sand, take a left from the car park and choose your spot to rig up on the south side of the lagoon. The middle of the lagoon is more popular as the wind tends to open up a bit more, just make sure you kite away from the entrance/mouth by the rocky inlet as highly venomous stone fish may be present. Yeah, you’re in ‘Straya guys!
11. Pelican Point, Carnarvon
Carnarvon is really a gateway to Ningaloo Reef and the epic destinations ahead, but Pelican Point is also another worthy stop for twin tippers. Its consistent southerly winds meet a nice sand bar, with a smooth entrance to the ocean and heaps of flat water. Pelican Point is also the launching pad for kiters at the annual Windfest event, which has been a consistent feature each January since 2021.
12. Gnaraloo (Tombstones)
Gnaraloo is most well known for the world-class surf break, ‘Tombstones’. As its name suggests, this spot can get pretty gnarly and is only for highly experienced wave riders- seriously, don’t be a hero and try it out if you’re not there yet! But if you’ve earned your salt then it’s known to be one of the best wave spots on the west coast.
All about the surfers in winter, and wind chasers in summer, Gnaraloo is growing in popularity so you’re unlikely to be a lone soldier when the wind is pumping. Be sure to take a look at the right-of-way rules before heading out, or even better, have a yarn with some of the friendly local kiters if it’s your first time.
Launching can be very tricky- it’s a small site with a bit of a wind shadow and there’s rock and reef about, so we’d recommend having a buddy to launch you (tip: try keeping the kite over the ocean for a more consistent wind).
Just another heads up, some seasons are worse than others, but flies and mice can be a bit tormenting at this time of year! You may want to invest in a saucy head net if you’re spending time in the bush, and ensure all your food is packed away to minimise interest.
To get there, head southwest from 3-Mile Camp for almost 1km, and the car park to the kite spot is the first on your right. Although easier and more comfy in a 4WD, you can still access Tombstones in a 2WD.
13. Sandy Bay, Exmouth
Lucky number 13, Exmouth is located on the tip of the UNESCO Ningaloo Reef and is one of the most popular holiday destinations for west coasters. Perched a bit out of town in Cape Range National Park, Sandy Bay is one of the main kite spots and a turquoise treat – the water is warm, smooth, shallow and super clear with a sandy bottom. Perfection. This is an awesome playground to practise freeride and freestyle, and wave riders will find what they’re looking for on the fringing reef almost a kilometre off-shore. A fair distance, but well worth the trek.
At low tide, this spot gets shallow in places and the S/SW-W wind works best here otherwise it’s side-offshore, plus a blind spot here and there means it’s more suited to intermediate riders + up. If you need lessons or to rent gear then hit up the friendly team at Exmouth Surf Centre.
Sandy Point is another incredible flat water spot accessible by 4WD south of Yardie Creek. It’s virtually as idyllic as Sandy Bay but with deeper water and fewer tourists, so face-planting isn’t going to hurt as much both physically and emotionally!
Oh my days, so many spots.🙀 I wish I could do it all. Well guess what, you can! Check out Road2Adventure’s kite safari of a lifetime. You can choose either starting in Perth and going up north to Exmouth, or the other way around, or a loop if you’re a real connoisseur. You’ll get to stop and kite at the best kitespots we just mentioned above.
No wind? Unlikely, but…
There may be the odd day where the southerlies are a no-show during summer’s intense heatwaves but they don’t usually last long. If you’re road-tripping up the Coral Coast then here are some awesome highlights in between rides.
A trip in WA wouldn’t be complete without savouring a Western Rock Lobster! This iconic lunch spot in Cervantes serves up a mean crayfish and chips, as well as other goodies, so you can refuel the tank as you venture north.
2. The Pinnacles Desert
Located near the Lobster Shack, the Pinnacles is home to some really cool ancient limestone formations, formed from sea shells and moulded by all that salty coastal air. This is a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy some of WA’s unique scenery, or you can drive around if feeling lazy!
3. Swim with sea lions in Jurien Bay
Take a 2-hour cruise to see these cute and playful puppies of the sea. The rarest of their species in the world, the Australian sea lion’s main breeding ground in WA can be found offshore in Jurien Bay Marine Park.
4. Take a scenic flight over the Pink Lake and Abrolhos Islands
Still a relatively unknown gem in the Indian Ocean, the Abrolhos Islands are a stunning archipelago of 122 islands just 80km off the coast of Geraldton that’s frequently compared to the Galapagos for its marine diversity. This National Park is home to the cute tammar wallaby, a range of seabirds, the Aussie sea lion, bottlenose dolphins, green turtles and migrating humpback whales from July to October.
There’s a range of operators who offer tours lasting between 1.5 hours and 6 hours. You can also combine the trip with a whiz over Kalbarri’s Pink Lake which looks more impressive from above – check out Kalbarri Scenic Flights, Shine Aviation or Nationwest Aviation for more info.
5. Quad bike in Shark Bay
This 3-hour quad bike tour will get the adrenaline pumping for some off-road adventure, a super fun way to explore the sand dunes and incredible World Heritage views in Shark Bay.
6. Watch wild dolphins in Monkey Mia
Located on the other side of the peninsular in Shark Bay, Monkey Mia is an idyllic and rare treat where you can watch wild dolphins from just a few metres away as you sunbake on the beach. If you’re staying in the area, we’d recommend a night or two at the resort here which provides oceanfront accommodation at a great price, and the restaurant offers the best food in Shark Bay.
7. Marine Eco Safari in Coral Bay
Coral Bay is a stunning (and small) seaside town in between Carnarvon and Exmouth along the Ningaloo Reef. Unlike the Great Barrier Reef on the East Coast where most of the best snorkelling spots are a 2-hour boat ride away, the reef here hugs the shore so you’ll be there in half an hour. Expect to see lush coral gardens, turtles, a huge array of fish, and if you’re lucky, reef sharks and manta rays on a day tour.