Surfing at Sawtell Beach
just south of the Coffs Harbour Airport was ideal for big wave chasers this recent weekend of 27-28 October while into Sunday the 29th becomes an opportunity to catch one's breath from a full-on two rainy and windy days. The below photos were simple mobile shots taken over those two days as well as on Sunday 29 featuring clearer weather while the above photo is edited for warmer colours but shows the height and power of the waves.
Sawtell is a delightful heritage town but this particular article is aimed at Sawtell for the more able surfer, not that I am one, I knew to keep well out of the water however couldn't help admire the waves. Sawtell has a surf lifeguard tower, is patrolled daily from the start of September NSW school holidays to the end of the following year's April NSW school holidays and has a range of resorts for all travellers but is very geared up for surfing. I've left some article links on Sawtell Beach and the Coffs Coast by other writers that may prove useful, but I can't guarantee those waves, as it's amazing what a hint of light rain and strong gusts of wind can do for the waves, especially in springtime.
The Weekend Notes Sawtell Beach article
- written in 2018 with valuable information still relevant to 2023.
Weekend Notes Coffs Harbour Beaches
- for ideas on the many beaches Coffs Harbour is blessed with.
Below is a contrasting photo facing the north of Sawtell Beach, with the waves a bit tamer than in the above photo but not as tame as expected given very little wind early in the morning. It was taken from Bonville Head Lookout at Bonville Headland. The below photo, along with this article's four-photograph collages were taken Sunday morning with an apparent clearing of the weather. Ironically this allows for surfers of most skill levels to head into the water, I counted dozens of surfers and more heading in when I returned from the Bonville Head Lookout. Note one of the collages shows the mountainous backdrop to these beaches, sometimes obscured if on the beach by dunes. I also accidentally walked past a small kangaroo on my way through the dunes - obviously too shy to hop on the beach.
But for further Sawtell surf photos below is the thick cloud formation above the water.
While this photo shows the squeaky sand blowing 'uniformly' in amazing streams of airborne grains.
While from Bonville Headland
is the sunrise facing Bonville Beach which had no surfers - probably due to accessibility in many ways, for it looks clearly undeveloped and not patrolled with thick scrub in the land behind Bonville Beach
. Photos taken Sunday morning after the rain had diminished. Note that Bonville is the southern headland of the two Sawtell Beach headlands, with the other called Boambee
Headland - which despite being pet-friendly, Sawtell Beach and Bonville aren't.
At Bonville Head Lookout is a stairway to a swimming rockpool constructed decades ago, part of the heritage of Sawtell. It, along with the spectacular views from the lookout there are a main attraction of visiting Sawtell, but even more so if one doesn't surf, with many photography opportunities possible. A small mobile coffee truck is parked up there allowing for the perfect start to the day.
Conclusion is that what I saw was in fact caused by an interesting weather pattern from 27-28th of October. Tuning into the Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology website at www.bom.gov.au
at the time the rain was occurring showed this little line of clouds on an otherwise clear east coast of Australia which indicates at least to me the fortune for the surfers present on those two days of irregular rains and stronger winds. Although no-one is surfing in some of my Sawtell Beach photos, on the Saturday morning of the 28th of October there were at least a dozen or more surfers enjoying the waves on this special surfing beach nestled closely between the two rocky headlands of Boambee to the north and Bonville to the south. As previously stated, by Sunday October 29 there were many more surfing due to more favourable conditions.
that all photos in this article were taken by the author in 2023, also note that in this article
about nearby Park Beach I witnessed no swimming signs, hence my ensuing explanation about swimming at the beach, which like at Sawtell is swimmable if between the both yellow and red marked flags, but at beaches like these it is vital about the flags as the adjacent creeks contribute to rips which impede safe swimming. Despite my article's relevance to advanced surfers, I have linked a full list of surf safety signs at beachsafe.org.au
. For comparison, I have attached south-facing photos of Park Beach (top) and Sawtell Beach in a collage below.
267379 - 2023-10-28 14:07:57