Click here to find out more about advertising your business on this page

back to Travel Planner search
+ Southern ocean swells
+ Wide variety of spots
+ Desert-like surroundings
+ Choice of coastlines
+ Rare crowd hassles
- Cold ocean swells
- mainly for experienced surfers
- White pointers, bronze whalers
- snakes, flies and bees
- Potholes and rough roads
Blue Tomato

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

The Surf

Adelaide is South Australia’s capitol city of 1 million plus people situated on the Adelaide plains, a flat, fertile corridor of land between Gulf St Vincent and the arc of the Mount Lofty Ranges. It’s a quick drive to the closest surf spots but it’s crowded and inconsistent because of a very narrow swell window. Yorke's Peninsula is a 4h drive west of Adelaide, and this crooked finger of rock presents some incredibly good waves at its tip, which is part of the Innes National Park. On a 40km (25mi) stretch, there are 15 known quality breaks, usually short and powerful reefbreaks down sheer cliffs. This amazing concentration of quality waves suit experienced surfers with no fear of air drops and Australia’s dangerous wildlife like sharks and snakes. To top it off, Kangaroo Island is Australia’s 3rd biggest island, measuring 150km (96mi) long, and featuring many remote and spooky surfspots, exposed to the full force of the swell coming out of the Great Southern Ocean.

When to Go

Although the Southern Ocean swells lash the coast with plentiful surf, only the most exposed parts get the full brunt of the 3-20ft (1-6m) swells with less seasonal changes than elsewhere. The profusion of islands and peninsulas has to be taken into account to know about Adelaide’s local zones. Kangaroo blocks most of the S swells for Yorke's and the mid-coast so favour the south coast in summer S swells. Only strong SW-W swells hit the mid-coast, preferably with high tides, so winter is usually better. Yorke's is definitely the best bet around Innes National park but not as many spots work at high tide. Surfing low tides on Yorke's and high tides on the mid-coast is unrealistic but can help to decide itineraries depending on tidal timing. Because of straights and deep bays, tidal phases can be significant, over 8ft(2.5m). This is one of the country’s few regions with tidal restrictions. As for winds, it’s pretty much S-SW year round apart from winter when N-NE winds groom up the best surf conditions!

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


The climate is mostly dry with hot summers and cool winters. Sometimes, there are oppressive hot spells of 35°C (97°F). The nearby Southern Ocean ensures cool & mild winters. Average summer temps are 16-27°C (61-80°F) while winter go from 8-16°C (46-61°F). The windchill factor can be harsh. Long periods of continuous rainfall around Adelaide are rare: average rainfall is 585mm (23”in), mostly between May and August. Keep out of the fierce Aussie summer sun. Water temps are low compared to air temps. Winter surf requires a 3/2 steamer and booties will be necessary. Summer will allow springsuits but most surfers remain covered.


Apart from Adelaide, wild bush is the landscape! Main wildlife parks are Urimbirra Wildlife Park, Victor Harbor and Gorge Wildlife. Churches are outnumbered by pubs and nightclubs. Don't miss Rodney Fox (the man with 462 stitches from a bite) Shark Museum. Fishing is amazing. SA produces 50% of Australian wines. Kangaroos galore!


Bronze whalers and white pointers often patrol the area, be aware of when to avoid the water. Strong rips often happen with winds and tides. When on land, take care while scrambling down cliffs on Yorke's and avoid the prodigious brown snakes. Crowd pressure is much less than other parts of Australia.


There is all kinds of waves so take a full quiver. Check out Cutloose or MidCoast Shop&Board in Lonsdale or Nasty Boards in Beverly. Check Surf Power in Victor Harbor. No shops or shapers on Yorke's. Expect $400 for a shortboard and $600 for a longboard. Beginners need to look for Surfbreak Surf School. Few webcams, 1 buoy.

In the Shop..

Related ebooks...