Summertime is in full swing, and it's the perfect weather to get active with water sports in Perth - both in and on the water!
The tenth annual Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton "kite race" (kitesurfing championship) was held last month, attracting champion kitesurfers from across the globe, including the current GKA Kitesurf World Tour World Champion Airton Cozzolino-Lopes, who competed in the race and then stayed back another week to enjoy Perth and its many awesome kitesurfing spots.
Lighthouse to Leighton is held annually, commencing in beautiful Rottnest Island - a short ferry ride away from the mainland courtesy of Rottnest Fast Ferries, Rottnest Express and SeaLink Rottnest Island – and ends at the iconic Leighton Beach in Fremantle.
Want to know more? Check out our interview with Airton to find out what he thinks about Perth, and some footage of Airton in action – it's very exciting stuff.
And of course, whether you're a seasoned kitesurfer or you're feeling inspired to give kitesurfing a try yourself, Perth is absolutely the place for water sports! Here's 7 awesome spots in and around Perth to get your kite on.
Pop down to West Oz Kiteboarding in Safety Bay to explore Perth's marine playground of Rockingham in a whole new way! Safety Bay is one of WA's favourite kitesurfing locations with regular visitors coming in not only from Perth Metro, but from all over the world. With its shallow waters, few waves and near-constant breeze, it’s a perfect spot for both beginners and experienced kitesurfers.
Enjoy scenic Mandurah in a whole new way! The Estuary is a land breeze kitesurfing spot with shallow, flat water, suiting all levels of kitesurfers. (The seaweed can hide venomous catfish, so be careful - avoid walking in the water and first-aid up!)
Another firm favourite with local and international kitesurfers alike, Pinnaroo Point is a popular kitesurfing spot located north of the river in Hillarys (a stone's throw from Hillarys Boat Harbour) which is excellent for intermediate and expert kiters; while beginner learners shouldn't try kitesurfing here alone until they are self-sufficient due to the deep water and side-shore winds. You'll also find two schools offering guided lessons to beginners here: Action Sports WA and KiteBud.
North and South Fremantle both have some excellent kitesurfing spots, with Fremantle's strong afternoon sea breeze making this area a great place to kitesurf. Popular spots include the aforementioned Leighton Beach, Port Beach and Woodman Point, attracting some of Australia's top kitesurfers such as pro kiter Simon Wichterman. WA Kitesurf Academy operates out of Leighton Beach, so that beginners can also get in on the action!
Melville Beach is a great spot for beginning kitesurfers, located just under 20 mins south of Perth City. While the winds can get gusty, the water is shallow thus safer for kiters who are not quite independent yet. Lessons are available from two schools operating on this beach: Soulkite and Seabreeze, and for younger aspiring kiters, Seabreeze even runs WA’s first dedicated junior kitesurfing program.
Rottnest Island has some of the most beautiful beaches in WA, as well as stunning wildlife, plenty of wind and perfectly azure water. Salmon Bay is considered the best kitesurfing spot in terms of conditions, while Bickley Bay (the starting point of the Lighthouse to Leighton race) is the most popular. There are no schools operating on the island, and conditions here are best for intermediate to experienced kitesurfers.
Located at the northernmost tip of the Sunset Coast region, Lancelin is renowned for its famous sandboarding, but it's also a great spot for kiting, with multiple locations ranging from flat water to massive waves of up to 5m. Lancelin Island is considered suitable for beginners, while Lancelin Beach and Lancelin Jetty are popular with more experienced kiters.
Located 10km north of Perth City, this kitesurfing spot has a heavy beach break with pounding waves, and is only suited to intermediate and expert kiters - but what a thrilling experience for those who are ready for the action! In summer, City Beach is a popular starting point for downwinders towards Trigg Beach, where waves which can be quite large. If you're serious about becoming a kitesurfing expert, this downwinder belongs on your bucket list!
One of Perth's most iconic and beloved beaches, the Scarborough Beach area has an excellent kitesurfing spot at Brighton Beach. This stretch of clean white sand is quieter than its bustling neighbour, while getting plenty of big waves that make it an excellent choice for intermediate to experienced kitesurfers.