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+ Southern ocean swells
+ Wide variety of spots
+ Choice of coastlines
+ Low crowd pressures
- Cold water, hot air temps
- Experienced surfer spots
- Some local vibes
- snakes, snakes and flies

Stormrider Guide to surfing Adelaide

South Australia, AUSTRALIA

, Joli

Surf Spots

Ethel Wreck
Salmon Hole
Christies Reef
Triggs Beach
The Trough
Middleton Point
The Dump
Pennington Bay
Cape Kersaint

Surf in Adelaide

Adelaide is South AustraliaÕs capital city of 1.25million people. ItÕs a quick drive to the city spots but itÕs crowded and inconsistent because of a narrow swell window. Yorke Peninsula, 4h drive west of Adelaide has a concentration of quality waves on its tip in the Innes National Park suited to experienced fearless surfers. Kangaroo Island is 150km (96mi) long, and features many remote and spooky surf spots, exposed to the full force of the swell coming out of the Great Southern Ocean.

Long, occasionally spitting lefts give Spits its name in a rippy, sharky area. Salmon Hole is a scenic right pointbreak. When N winds are blowing itÕs fast, hollow and long, but avoid the suck rock in the middle. ItÕs a long walk over private property to Trespassers, a right with a heavy take-off and workable walls at lower tides. Surf the sand covered reefs at Pondie in sizeable surf with strong S winds and low-mid tides, opposite a campsite. When everywhere is flat Ethel Wreck can produce intense waves next to a shipwreck. Often rippy and disorganised but a crowd magnet when on. Chinamans is the classic South Australian spot for advanced surfers who dont mind the crowded small take-off zone and vertical drops over shallow, sharp reef. Getting in and out is tricky but the barrels are excellent. Baby Chinamans is a softer version, east of the main break. Lower tides and N winds. Over on the mid-coast in Adelaide if there is a major storm with gusty SW winds, try Y-Steps or the Hump at Christies Beach, where refraction can make A-frames with a bit of power. In large W-SW swell, Seaford rights offer the longest walls around, despite the sections and crowds. Triggs Beach has average rights and lefts working near the observation tower. The first section of The Trough delivers some punch before fattening out in the channel. The Fleurieu Peninsula is offshore in N winds so best surfed early before the summer S winds get up. Victor Harbor is SAÕs most popular holiday area, sometimes referred to as 'shark alley'! Expect brilliant sandbanks, mellow points and a few big waves. If the swell is tiny drive west to to Waitpinga, (windy placeÓ in Aboriginal) which can be seriously hollow Ð beware of rips and white pointers. Check The Dump powerful reef rights, next to Granite Island. In Middleton a handful of surf spots can be checked in 10 minutes. For mal-riders/beginners, the rights at Middleton Point have room for everyone. The adventurous can take the ferry to Kangaroo Island, with countless turn-offs to rugged deserted spots. Pennington BayÕs shallow beachies can be fun on a medium swell with NE winds and, if swell and confidence get big, try Cape KersaintÕs left pointbreak, itÕs awesome!

When to Go

Lashed by plenty of 3-20ft Southern Ocean swells but blocking islands and peninsulas have to be taken into account. Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island work in small S summer swells. Yorke and the mid-coast needs strong SW-W winter swells. The wind is pretty much S-SW year round apart from winter when N-NE winds groom up the best surf conditions. Most of YorkeÕs spots work at low tide while the mid-coast is better on high, plan winter itineraries based on tide times. The narrow straights create significant tidal phases over 2.4m.

dominant swell S -SW S -SW S -SW S -SW S -SW S -SW
swell size (ft) 2 3-4 5-6 6 5 2-3
consistency (%) 30 50 70 80 60 40
dominant wind SE -SW SE -SW N -NE SW -N S -W S -W
average force F3-F4 F3 F3-F4 F3-F4 F3-F4 F4
consistency (%) 69 62 31 67 53 57
water temp (C) 19 18 15 13 14 17
wetsuit 3/2 3/2 3/2 4/3 4/3 3/2
Adelaide 1.1M

3,700km (2,310mi)

GMT +9hr30

Travel Information


Hot summers 16-27¡C (61-81¼F) with oppressive heatwaves of 35¡C (97¡F) flip to cool, mild winters 8-16¡C (46-61¼F) with harsh windchill factors and plenty of rain between May and August. Water temps are low Ð winter requires at least a 3/2 steamer and booties, summer will allow springsuits, but most surfers remain covered.


Wild bush is the landscape. Main wildlife parks are Urimbirra Wildlife Park, Victor Harbor and Gorge Wildlife. Churches outnumbered by pubs and nightclubs. DonÕt miss Rodney Fox Shark Museum. Fishing is amazing. SA produces 50% of Australian wines. Kangaroos galore!


Bronze whalers and white pointers often patrol the area, be aware when to stay out of the water. Winds and tides cause strong rips. Avoid the brown snakes. Crowd pressure is much less than other parts of Australia.


All kinds of waves so take a full quiver. Check out Cutloose or MidCoast Shop&Board in Lonsdale or Nasty Boards in Beverly. Victor Harbor has Surf Power, but no shops or shapers on Yorke.