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Coffs Harbour Area Surf Spot Review

SouthSide Sawtell
One of my favourite spots.  Southies is essentially a headland with a creek outlet - depending on banks, tides, and swell, it can produce either point-break style waves, peaky beachies, or a heavily sucking wedge.
One of the few spots in the area protected from Northerlies, Southies is pretty popular in Summer.
As with a lot of the area, the jump-off rocks are sharp, vertically aligned strata - watch your step!

Sawtell Island
One of the best spots when the wind is Southerly and there's a heavy South swell running - hence it's usually best in Winter.
Generally a longer point-style wave, Island sometimes produces a few wrapping sections to launch off.
Usually easiest to paddle out right near the island.

Sawtell Main
Sawtell Main is pretty versatile, working in most conditions as long as the wind isn't too strong.   It produces everything from long barrelling sections to short peaks, depending on banks and swell direction.


Pretty fickle, but when it's on, it's on!  Needing a good South swell and S-SW winds to fire, Trapdoors is basically a barrelling point-break, similar to Burleigh, Lennox, etc.

If conditions are clean and everywhere is crowded, the RSPCA may be worth a look.  A bit of a mission to get to, it involves a bit of rally driving, dodging trains, and venturing through some overgrown dunes - but often you'll score uncrowded stuff that's as good as most the other beaches.

One of the most popular spots, the main feature of Gallows is a cool wedge that's pretty protected in Northerly winds that shut down everywhere else.  Hence it's also usually one of the most crowded, but if you can handle it, Gallows can really churn out some damn fine waves.

Boat Ramp
One of the extremely fickle breaks, Boat Ramp only really does it when everywhere else is out of control - but it's barrels are legendary!
Depending on the swell, surfing Boat Ramp can mean some extremely close calls with the breakwall - not the best place to stuff up.

Extremely obscure and rarely surfed, reflectos doesn't really qualify as a wedge, more like the aquatic version of a half-pipe.  So if you want an, um, interesting experience, give it a go... if you can find it! (Hint: it's near the quarry)

North Wall
When it's working, North Wall can produce some damn nice wedges.  Generally requires a heavy South swell or a very specifically aligned NE swell, with S-SW-W winds.  Usually means most other places are out of control, so expect crowds!

North Wall Reef
Coffs' version of Shark Island.  When it's on, every man and his dog is out there.   When it's not, half the groms are still there.

N/A - doesn't seem to have been working for quite a while.

Park Beach
Similar setup to Sawtell Island, can handle big South swells and a fair amount of Southerly wind.

Hoey Moey
Can produce some heavy ones - watch out for the "Hoey Express", the heavy rip that sometimes appears.

The banks don't seem to be that great of late, but when they are, Macauleys is one of the main places to hit in Summer - decent protection from Northerlies.  Can produce some very nice point-break style waves, and can handle a fair wack of swell.

One of the best known and most popular beaches in Coffs, Diggers is a semi-cove-like setup, with headlands on both ends and hills behind, giving decent protection from a wide range of winds.  As such, diggers is generally one of the more reliable spots to check - it may not be the pick of the bunch, but you can usually find some sort of wave there.  And when the solid swells hit, Diggers is one of the spots that crank it up.

The Snatch

The Well




spacer Document last modified:
12 September 2005
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