If neither spot tickles your fancy, a minutes’ drive away is another car park with a view along a stretch of coast known as Ellensbrook. Home to a multitude of breaks of varying skill level but ones that come at a cost, they all require a lengthy walk. The first three (Ulus, Noisies and Lefties) are relatively easy waves while the next one along, Umbies, has a habit of breaking boards, which can be a dispiriting affair given it’s a solid 30 minute walk to get to.
The remaining couple waves on this stretch are best accessed from the opposite end, which is a brisk 10-minute drive south on Caves Road before turning into Ellensbrook Road.
Ellensbrook Mainbreak is one of the more consistent waves on the coast while nearby Ellensbrook Bombie is capable of throwing up waves in the 15-20 foot range. The remaining spot, known as The Womb, is what you’d call a specialty wave, in that it delivers perfect left hand barrels but also has a habit of breaking bones. Local winemaker and big wave guru Damon Eastaugh famously suffered a horrific compound fracture surfing there some years ago. Approach with caution.
After all that, it’s time to finally head to the breaks of Margaret River and to get there, head south along Caves Road and turn right on Walcliffe Road. Head west past the cemetery and golf course and one the world’s greatest vistas will come into view. The first glorious view of the Indian Ocean as you come around the last bend never gets old. A quick right onto Surfers Point Road will deliver you to the now world famous Margaret River Mainbreak, also known as Surfers Point.
From the car park (conditions permitting) The Box can be seen to the right breaking a short distance out to sea. The Box, much like The Womb is in that “Specialty Wave” category. It’s an intense wave that lurches up out of deep water to break on a shallow jagged reef and is best on an easterly wind.
If you’d rather a beach break, closer to shore is Rivermouth, a haphazard, punchy wave that can be surfable in all wind directions. It’s also the spot that gave birth to the style of many of the area’s up and comers, Jack Robinson, Shaun Manners and Jacob Willcox, to name a few.
“Rivermouth’s a fun little wave when it’s on,” says Willcox.
“It one of the most consistent spots in the area too so you can almost always score a couple of waves there.”
Then there’s Surfers Point itself, easily one of the most consistent waves on the entire coast, but a humbling one at that.
Fortunately, it is made up of two waves, Mainbreak and Southsides, which both offer left and right handers, which tends to disperse the crowd somewhat though most of the attention is focused on Mainbreak. Both draw any swell and can be surfed in a variety of winds (south through to northerly) and can handle some serious size. Mainbreak often reaches 20 feet so it’s worth having a good hard look before paddling out.
To the left of both waves and across the channel is Margaret River Bombie. Many a surfer has been lured across to Bombie only to find it is much bigger than it looked from the safety of the car park. Again, worth a long hard look before paddling out.
Further south is Boatramps, another big wave spot. Slightly more forgiving (and only slightly) than Bombie, Boatramps is a long left hander that requires a big board and confidence in your ability to swim long distances should your leg rope break.
And the fun doesn’t stop there. Further along Walcliffe Road are Grunters and Gas Point. Both are challenging waves capable of breaking boards but also offering nice barrels.
The car park overlooking Grunters is a beautiful spot to look out over the ocean though it is also often a hive of activity, due in part to the number of local kids being dropped off before and after school to surf the beach and smaller reef breaks surrounding it. The long stretch of beach you’ll see from the car park looking south is Boodjidup, which like every spot in the region enjoys the predominant sou-west swell with a south-to-south east wind. It can get crowded, though it is similar to the Ellensbrook stretch, the further you’re prepared to walk, the less of an issue the crowds will be.
The remaining two waves along this magnificent coast might very well be the most beautiful and given what’s on offer, that is saying something.