Top Watersports in Perth to Try This Summer
Perth may be one of the most isolated cities in Australia, in the world even – but that doesn’t mean we lack in attraction and thrill. Our Western Australian coastline is the longest in Australia, from the dry temperatures up north to the cold winds down south; you’ll find pretty much every kind of watersport opportunity there is right along our WA coast.
As a scuba diver myself, I embrace the water and encourage you to do to the same this Perth summer, even if it’s just for a splash at the beach. Worried about sharks? Invest in a shark shield, or quite simply put, just stay out of the water.
Always make sure to do your research beforehand with whichever watersport you want to try. Be smart and safe – invest in training and theory classes beforehand, know what the requirements are and know what rules apply.
Here are my top watersports to have a go at this summer:
The west coast offers awesome surf for pros and beginners, with some consistently top quality reef breaks, beach breaks and point breaks.
Trigg Beach, Cottesloe Beach, Scarborough Beach and Strickland Bay (on Rottnest Island) are all worth checking out, as is the internationally renowned Margaret River – which is ranked as a ‘big wave’ hot spot up there next to Hawaii.
If you’re keen for a road trip, head for the reefs in Esperance, Geraldton, Yardie Creek (near Exmouth) and Jake’s Point in Kalbarri.
Ahh, boogie boarding. An old favourite Aussie past time. Mandurah Wedge, Scarborough Beach and Yanchep Beach are great body board beaches to check out.
You have probably seen them on your way to work in the mornings, or while going down to the beach on the weekends. Kite surfers are growing fast in numbers and with many businesses offering lessons throughout Perth, you can join in on the fun too.
Woodman Point, Scarborough Beach, Mullalloo Beach, Trigg Beach, Cottosloe Beach are the best spots to go once you got lessons under your belt first of course.
Wake Boarding /Waterskiing
Wakeboarding and water skiing is popular in WA rivers and lakes, as well as the coast. There are designated ski areas which can be found in Busselton, Geraldton and as far north as Roebuck Bay in Broome.
For ocean-based water skiing and wakeboarding, head for Woodman Point south of Fremantle or Comet Bay in Mandurah. Calmer flat WA waterways are offered at Canning River at Mount Pleasant, Peel Inlet in Mandurah, Waroona Dam near Dwellingup, or purpose-built lakes at Baldivis.
Kayaking / Rafting / Canoeing
There are both wild and tranquil rivers in WA that gives plenty of kayaking, canoeing and white water rafting adventures.
Start with taking in Perth’s iconic city skyline from the seat of a kayak on the Swan River with many places to hire on the foreshore.
For a kaykaing or canoeing experience, head to Bridgetown or Augusta for Blackwood River; or alternatively go to Kalbarri National Park’s Murchison River for its 400 million year old landscape scenery. White water rafting action is great on Avon River, when it hosts the annual international white water rafting event – the Avon Descent. Test your skill or watch others tackle the 133km course from Northam to Perth. Murray River and Collie River are also good white water options. Lastly, take a sea kayaking trip to Penguin Island, near Rockingham to see the world’s smallest penguins and rare Australian sea lions.
Fly Boarding / Jet Pack
Dare devils – try this one. The ‘Flyboard’ allows water thrill-seekers to hover in the air at heights over nine metres via a jet pack device before plunging into the waves below.
This extreme watersport allows you to be in the air like a bird, dive in the water like a dolphin and once you stablise and balance yourself – you’ll be making some pretty awesome freestyle movements. As it’s still a relatively new craze that’s hit Perth, I’m only aware of Flyboard Rockingham operating. If you know of any others, let me know.
Get some of the world’s best deep sea, freshwater and beach fishing opportunities right here off the WA coast.
While Exmouth, Kalbarri, Fitrozy River, Shark Bay, Montebello islands, Rottnest Island, Busselton Jetty, Kalgan River in Albany and Cape Arid in Esperance are all said to be the top 10 fishing spots in WA, you can find good fishing action closer to home.
Head out from Two Rocks or Cockburn Sound, catch crabs in Mandurah or head to Hillarys Boat Harbour Marina for squid.
Wind surfing / Kite Surfing
Although Geraldton is said to be the windsurfing capital of Perth, Lancelin is just as good and not as far of a drive. Many enjoy wind surfing on Swan River with city skyline views, while popular beaches like Cottosloe, Brighton Beach, Safety Bay and Leighton Beach have wind surfers frequenting.
For longer wave rides, head to Gnaraloo (it’s pretty gnarly down there) which is on the southern tip of Ningaloo Reef. Esperance, of course, must be mentioned again (it’s that good) and it’s only a nine hour drive from Perth too.
More of a dare devil that yearns for high-adrenaline water fun? Head to South Perth for parasailing in the Swan River, where you wear a harness which attaches you to the parasail (a canopy-like parachute) that is connected to the speed-boat by a long cable.
Choose a “Wet-n-Wild” ride and get dunked in the river, or a “High-n-Dry” and stay up in the sky. While experiencing the thrill of parasailing, you will simultaneously be taking in sites of Perth, Kings Park and the Old Swan Brewery from up to 300ft high.
Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding
Stand up paddle boarding is the new craze that is here to stay. Flat water and minimal wind is key for a safe and fun way to experience ‘SUP’. It may not be technically difficult, but your body is working the whole time you are on the board for you to stay balanced. In fact SUP tests your body balance and stamina so good that YOGA fitness classes have been introduced in some SUP businesses.
Lessons are typically offered at Point Walter, Woodmans Point, Augusta, Gracetown and Mullaloo Beach.
Got your diving license? Besides diving off Rottnest Island, you can also shore dive off Woodman Point and Point Peron. Blackwall Reach is another awesome shore dive location and for those who seek more adventure, check out the Rockingham Wreck Trail.
Down South you can dive the navy wrecks in Dunsborough and Albany or enjoy the warmer waters of Ningaloo Reef and Muiron Islands.
Diving not for you? Get into snorkelling. Parker Point Snorkel trail offers caves and ledges, while Perth’s northern shoreline from Trigg to Burns Beach is an easy to reach marine park. For beginners and families, Mettams Pool is a sheltered snorkelling spot that is a short drive from the city and for those who don’t mind the ferry – head to Rottnest Island for more marine action.
For Jet skiing, head down South there where there are estuary waters accessible from Mandurah, Dawesville and a number of other ‘open’ places. Make sure to have your skippers ticket and know the rules that apply at whichever spot you’re looking at.
Learn to sail through sailing and navigation courses offered from a few different businesses in Perth. Courses are commonly situated on the picturesque banks of Swan River, so you will be in a safe learning environment while learning new skills.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only.