South Australia Surf Camps & Surf Spot Guide

Whenever anyone mentions South Australia, the first thing people think of is sharks—and for good reason. But if you can look beyond the threat of violent death and dismemberment—and the bitter cold—South Australia is holding a number of epic waves, and not near the crowds you’d find in the warmer northern states.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="461"] Surfing Byron Bay. Photo thanks to Surfing Byron Bay[/caption]

The Surf: South Australia has a wide variety of setups ranging from long points and punchy beach breaks to slabbing reefs. Due to the cold water and constant threat of shark attack, this should be considered an intermediate to advanced surf region.

Five Waves Worth Surfing:

  1. Cactus: A region in Southwest Australia rather than a specific wave, Cactus is an isolated camping area with a number of epic waves—and more sharks than you can shake your DHD stick at.
  2. Waitpinga: A beach break setup with numerous quality peaks.
  3. Middleton: A series of beach break peaks near Victor Harbor.
  4. Pennington Bay: A quality beach break setup on the south side of Kangaroo Island.
  5. Stokes Bay: A rare gem on the north side of Kangaroo Island, Stokes is a lefthand reef with a dose of power.

The Water: Cold and sharky. Water quality isn’t too bad, although it tends to suffer near river mouths and after rains. Surface temps range from around 57 to 66 F (14 to 19 C), so when you go will greatly influence your choice in wetsuit thickness.

The Season: South Australia receives relatively consistent swell all year. Fall (March through May) has the best wind, with the rest of the year suffering from relatively constant onshores.

The Vibe: The locals are a hard lot, but in truth you have much bigger worries in South Australia, and they come equipped with multiple sets of teeth. There are a lot of sharks in the region (if you haven’t picked up on that already), so if you feel any vibes in the water, your best course of action would be to paddle in.

Things To Do: Cage diving with sharks is said to be quite popular in these parts.

Where To Stay: In many places you will be camping, so come equipped for self-sufficiency. However, you will find places to stay in larger towns like Victor Harbor, and of course in Adelaide (which is unfortunately shadowed by Kangaroo Island).

What To Bring: A shortboard and a backup, plus a big-wave gun or slab board if you are coming for the danger waves. Thick rubber in winter, shark repellant if you actually believe it works and survival gear for rough-style camping.

Getting There: Adelaide is your main gateway into South Australia, and is serviced by Adelaide International Airport. Tourist visas are easy to arrange, but should be obtained before arrival into the country. Airport Code: ADL.