the heaviest surf breaks in australia

2 January 2012 09:38:00 AEDT

Have you made a new years resolution to 'challenge yourself' a little more in the surf this year, maybe give yourself a little scare once in a while? The reality is that you wouldn't be alone. The heaviest surf breaks in Australia once shunned in favour of easier high performance waves are back in vogue as experienced surfers seek more and more extreme experiences, results of these sessions fueling blogs and viral video feeds for months but the heart of this level of surfing still holds doesnt matter how many cameras, jet skis, helicopters or sponsors you have, it all breaks down to one moment, one rider, one board and one wave. Lets look at the ten heaviest breaks in Australia, count on some footage of each appearing in an inbox near you during 2012.

North Point - An extremely heavy right-hand reef break. It is located inside of Cowaramup Bay and is overlooked by the small township of Gracetown. The wave grinds down the point, and mutates over the shallow barnacle covered reef. There are steps and ledges through the face of the wave, plus double up sections, and boils all through the trough. For such a difficult and intimidating wave, there’s no shortage of people trying to get a big barrel at North Point. At the optimum size of eight to twelve foot (three to six times overhead) there’ll be 40 – 50 guys in the water.

Some of the local crew are unbelievable to say the least, their standard of surfing is simply world class. They make deep, late take-offs on the most hideous of waves. North Point does break relatively nicely when it’s head high, however as it gets bigger it becomes progressively heavier and hollow. Anything bigger than twelve foot will tend to close-out the bay. On smaller days you can enter the water from the top of the point – paddling out behind the take-off spot, between the sets.

When it’s big taking the longer paddling from inside the bay is the preferred option. How to surf big North Point is not something that can be explained in one paragraph. However, your first step is to get a proper surfboard – a gun, and sit and watch it for a good hour before paddling out for your first session. As North Point is inside Cowaramup Bay it’s only when big swells hit the south-west does North Point come to life. North Point is easy to find, simply drive to Gracetown and you’ll see it. The view of the wave from land is quite spectacular. North Point is almost a natural modern day colosseum of sorts. North Point offers an excellent view of surfers being torn apart by mother nature.

Cyclops - Easily one of the heaviest waves in the world. A slab of water that holds a near vertical wall of water before moving into shallow ramping reef and folding onto a near dry shelf. difficult to find, harder to surf. boats and skis required. Best to have first aid available on site as Esperance is the nearest settlement (2 hours away)

Cactus - A good quality yet more user friendly wave than other waves in the area. This spot kinda put this coastline on the surfing map and is a well known name in Australian surfing, making it a little more busy than other waves around, not that it's ever packed here compared to the likes of the Queensland Points. It's a steady takeoff followed by a gutsy walling ride. Pay a bit of respect to the locals and you'll have a good trip, though it is notoriously sharky and there have been fatalities here.

Shipsterns Bluff - A tricky wave to locate and one to definetly research. embarking upon a session here is not something you should undertake lightly. Back up crew, tow in gear, impact vest and most importantly, a medivac strategy are things you need to have in place before getting wet. Koby Aberton lists this as one of the 50 most dangerous waves in the world, there is a lot to gain in successfully riding one of these oceanic slabs but a lot to loose as well if it all goes pear shaped. Be rutheless in assessing your abilities before you even contemplate paddling out here.

No Toes - An earth shattering left hand reef break that will be the only ride in town if the swell is over 4 metres. Classified by many surfers as one of the most dangerous breaks in the world. One to sit and watch from the headland unless you want your holiday to turn into a national disaster. Easily one of the most powerful waves in Australia.

Newcastle Harbour - A definite novelty spot during the odd cyclonic NE swell that manages to weave it's way down the East Australian Coast. During World War II many of the beaches around the Newcastle area had large concrete pyramis tank traps placed on the foreshore to hamper any possible landing of Japanese tanks ashore. Fortunately the moment never came although Newcastle was shelled by passing submarines. Upon the completion of the war the ever resourceful forefathers saw their way to dumping the collected traps into Newcastle Harbour, straight off the breakwall.

So what we now have today is a fierce right hand barrell that breaks over 60 year old twisted concrete and metal reinforecement in the largest of north east swells. Technically offshore in a southerly, the 'Harbour' is protected from all winds due to it's inner location. A real treat when it turns on but easily crowded out due to the single peak set up. There are multiple entry/exit points as you approach the mainwave along the breakwall, the closer o the break you 'rock off' the more precise you need to be in your timing as one would expect.

Proceed with caution, this place is lethal in a falling tide and the twisted metal on the bottom has claimed many a board and a few riders in it's time.

Pedra Blanca - A recently discovered Tasmanian Big Wave spot lying 26 kilometres off the south coast near Pedra Blanca. The main wave breaks to the east of Pedra Blanca near a bathymetric feature called Eddystone rock. Featured in the Tom Carroll, Ross Clarke Jones documentary "StormSurfers". If you're heading out here to surf, you'll either be one of the handful of guys in the world that can tow-in to these monsters, or have a death wish.

Cow Bommie - A deep water reef break about 2 km offshore from the Western Australian suburb of Grace Town, south of Perth. It is now recognised as one of Australia's big wave hot spots, having produced XXL awards Australasia biggest wave, upwards of 40ft in 2009. It doesn't break very often requiring a bloody huge swell from way down in the southern Ocean.Unless you are one of the chosen few who can tame these monsters, this ones not for you. Wait for DVD's and watch on a big screen.

Ours - Like it or not, the Bra boys run this place. Surfing here is a serious proposition. towing in is the norm on anything over 3 metres. Getting our is bad enough but trying to get in can be worse, you basically need to position yourself to be washed up onto a rock shelf and scramble out before you get omgwtfpwned by a set. If you are serious about wanting to surf here for whatever reason then get in touch with someone from the Bra Boys and they might be able to help you out. Otherwise, you might be able to get out there but you just arent going to get any waves.

Spot X - Site of the Inaugural 2009 Fantastic noodle Big Wave Event where 8 talented young surfers were pitted against solid 15 foot sets. This spot can hold true size and power 20 feet + but can be difficult to catch on a clean swell. Experienced tow in crews need only apply. The nearest port of Streaky Bay several miles away in the event of an emergency.

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A329549aed6ffaa683c604058948eba6 Cthulhu
Spots: 224
Posts: 92
Joined: 04-09-2008
Rank: Artisan Navigator
over 12 years ago
Is this in order?
Ours isnt a wave..more of a closeout on rocks

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