So you like flat water? Anything more than a ripple on the water and you call it a choppy day? Well if this is you, I suggest you head to Safety Bay (aka. The Pond) in Western Australia. By far one of the flattest water places with epic strong winds brought in every afternoon by the Fremantle Doctor (more on this later). The only thing that will stop you kiting here is you wanting to watch the Pro’s ripping it or you have kited so hard you can’t sheet in anymore.
This little bay in the south west of Australia (~40 minutes south of Perth) is home to many of the worlds kiting pro’s in the Australian summer as it provides consistent winds almost every day from early October through to mid March.
Quick Location Overview
Location: Safety Bay, Australia (map link)
Windy Months: November – February
Wind speed: 20 – 30knts
Best Wind direction: South West
Air Temperature: 28 – 35°C (82 – 95°F)
Water Temperature: 18 – 25°C (64 – 77°F)
Water Flatness: Glassy
Beach Type: Sandy
Experience level: Beginner – Expert
Gear rental/Storage: WASurf
Closest Airport: Perth (PER)
While researching typical wind conditions of the South West coast of Australia you will time and time again come across the “Fremantle Doctor or The Dr”. This thermal gradient wind kicks into action almost everyday throughout summer due to major temperature difference between land and sea. Expect to see consistent +20knts from 2pm to early evening which make for some amazing kiting conditions.
Flat water is what you can expect to see even on the windiest of days. This is because of a sand dune/peninsula that sticks out at the northern end of the bay. This sand dune is just under a couple of meters high (~6ft) that protects the shore of the inner bay. The bay is also shallow with the majority of the pond being waist deep. This helps also with keeping the water flat making for a perfect flat water location.
The south western part of Western Australia can be a little cool in the water so a lot of people will tend to wear thermal rashies or wetsuits to be able to spend many hours enjoying themselves on the water as possible.
Where to Kite
Below is a map of “The Pond” highlighting all the parts of it that make it so good. It can get very busy on the water during the peak of summer so make sure to obey the rules while kiting.
Where to STAY
Safety Bay is situated ~40 minutes south of Perth in the greater area called Rockingham. This area is very residential where you are more likely to find an AirBnB then a 5 star hotel. It is quiet but if you are looking to just kite, then this will be suitable for you.
If you don’t mind driving a little (<30mins) I would recommend staying up in Fremantle as there is a lot more to do, see and be around when you are not on the water. You will find a mix of hotels, AirBnB’s and the like in a bit more of a lively atmosphere.
Note: You have to go to Van’s in Cottesloe while in the Perth area. Best breakfast menu ever!
How to get there
Getting to Safety Bay is best done by flying into Perth (PER) and hiring a car to drive there (~1hr). Flights into Perth (PER) come from most major carriers multiple times a day from all over the world.
You will need to rent a car. Luckily there is multiple rental companies including the large brands (Hertz, Avis, Budget etc…) and also cheaper alternatives.
Note: Also remember to bring a key lock box with you.
Experience level needed
Safety Bay and its surrounding areas can be enjoyed by beginners through to experts with multiple kite schools operating in the area. I personally recommend seeing the team at Western Australia Surf as they are based right on the lagoon and have years of experience teaching people.
Australia in general has pretty good and reliable cellular services across the country but you will find pockets around Perth where you will have no signal (even with the leading carrier Telstra). If visiting, I recommend you pickup a SIM/Prepaid plan from Telstra for your device as they have pretty solid 4G/LTE coverage. You will also find that many restaurants and shopping villages/malls have free WiFi in Australia.
No Wind Activities
This list could go on for some time but below are some of the things I would recommend if you find yourself without any wind during your stay in.
- Surfing – the waves are small but still fun
- SUPing – it’s amazing here
- Scuba diving – you might see a friendly Great White Shark
A lot of tourists do get a bit nervous about sharks in this part of the world but it is very rare that they attack humans. If the beaches are closed please obey and follow the warnings as sharks are sighted often around the WA coastline.
And as I always say with flying, I have found that if you are a One World/Star Alliance priority member and use the priority/business class lane at the airport, they tend to not charge you if you say its a golf bag and keep it under 23kg (50lbs).
Also published on Medium.