Sunday, 11 November 2012

11-16 November 2012 - Coronation Beach, north of Geraldton WA

One of the things we love about travelling is coming across great, unexpected camping spots.  30km north of Geraldton we pulled into Coronation Beach and came across an excellent, inexpensive campground managed by the Geraldton Shire.  $13 a night for Larry and I, kids free (what a difference that alone makes!), clean toilets and even a shower room where you provide your own water using either a solar shower or 12volt set up.  We ran into John and Julie from Bundaberg whom we met at Ned’s at Ningaloo a few weeks earlier.  In no time we had set up camp, although it was so windy that we didn’t worry about even pulling out the awning the whole 5 days we were there.

The Mothership on the left

Apart from a dozen or so vans, there were twice as many Wicked Campers, vans and tents, all there because of the wind!  Unbeknownst to us, Coronation Beach is one of WA’s best wind-surfing and kite-surfing beaches and they came out in their droves, especially on the weekend.  The last time Larry and I windsurfed was about 1985/86 when I was teaching at Mount Morgan (Q) and we had a weekend in Yeppoon and had a go at windsurfing on the lake.  We could see straight away how different the board and sail is now.  All the wind-surfers wear a back brace with hook to latch on to the sail.  I recall we just hung on for dear life!  Even the surf kites had no rigid parts, but the edge was inflated to provide the rigidity needed to surf.  We figured the water was pretty cold as all the surfers wore full wetsuits.

Chilling out with a good book!

We found out the reason why the area was popular was a reef that ran just off the coast from Exmouth to south of Geraldton which provided safe, shallow wind and kite surfing without having to contend with the waves. It’s the same reef that caused so many of WA shipwrecks in the early days.
The whole area was so well set up there is a limit of 30 days stay in any 12 month period and it was easy to see why. We left reluctantly to go to Geraldton to get all the tyres on the car and van replaced, stock up on water, groceries etc, but have been reliably informed that there are similar locations south of Geraldton so we'll definitely make a beeline for those soon.

There's a raised platform for watching the wind and kite surfing.

Traveller’s Tips: Coronation Beach $7 adults, $6 pension holders, kids U16 free.  Have correct cash. Has dump point but no water.  Playground under construction.  Arrive early in the day as it’s very popular. Only a few sites would suit buses and 5th wheelers as the camping area was originally designed for weekend campers. Safe, shallow swimming but a lot of seaweed comes in with the winds late in the year. Internet/phone coverage (Telstra).

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