Surfing Like a Local
Known for its ferocity, the Southern Ocean produces waves year round. Whilst many of the exposed breaks west of Cape Otway are for expert only surfers, Warrnambool offers one of the few beach breaks suitable for beginners. For beginners, try Warrnambool or Port Fairy (East) Beach. Surfing lessons are available from a few companies including Go Surf.
Surf beaches close to Warrnambool include:
Small and soft waves break over a broad sandbar. A good beach for catching whitewater waves and easy green waves. The straight sandbar does make the waves close out at this southern end of the beach. As the beach sweeps around to the east you'll find longer rides and bigger, more consistent waves. Avoid the many rips that are present along the exposed eastern section of the beach. Learn to surf lessons run on of this beach.
Located next to the Hopkins River mouth, Dredges is an exposed river break that has quite consistent surf and can work at any time of the year. Tends to receive distant groundswells and the best swell direction is from the south. The river breaks offer left-handers. Rarely crowded here. Beware of rips, rocks, pollution and sharks.
Just east of Dredges is The Cutting, offering a similar exposed beach break that usually has waves and can work at any time of the year. Offshore winds are from the north. Groundswells more frequent than windswells and the ideal swell direction is from the south. Waves at the beach break both left and right. Best around mid tide. Sometimes crowded. Dangerous rips are a hazard of surfing here.
Further east again, but on the same stretch of beach is Japs, an exposed beach break that has fairly consistent surf and can work at any time of the year. Offshore winds are from the north. Tends to receive distant groundswells and the ideal swell angle is from the south. The beach break offers both left and right hand waves. Best around mid tide when the tide is rising. Unlikely to be too crowded, even when the surf is up. Beware of rips and sharks.
East Beach - Port Fairy
Spilling close out waves break softly and roll gently to shore over a very broad sandbar. The waves break slowly, allowing time to practise catching green waves and to turn along the wave face and in the whitewater. As you head east from Griffiths Island, the swell and rips increase in size. East Beach is great for beginners. Learn to surf lessons run on of this beach.