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North Point

North Point

Gracetown - Margaret River - Western Australia, Australia

Surf, Bodyboard

North Point is located at the right of Cowaramup Bay in the small village of Gracetown, in the southwest of Western Australia. It’s the crown jewel of the Margaret River zone. A right that’s a world reference for everyone, from the best surfers to bodyboarders. Some compare it to Backdoor in Hawaii and together with The Box it’s the most coveted wave on this stretch of wild coast.

Margaret River is surrounded by nature, it’s one of the most impressive coastlines in the world with forests full of eucalyptus and vast areas of vineyards. It’s a destination that’s becoming more and more popular for its variety, quality, consistency and above all the extra potential of its waves, one being North Point or 'Northies' as it is called by the locals.

Western Australia is one of the most exposed continents on earth and it’s perfectly configured to receive the constant swells that originate from the Antarctic Glacial Ocean. In the winter, the confluence of the masses of warm air and the Antarctic polar air create some of the deepest and most powerful low pressures on the land, meaning that it brings swells that are often more than 20 feet, making it one of the wildest coastlines in the world. It's for this reason that it’s referenced as a big wave place not only in Australia but in the rest of the world too.

To get to Cowaramup Bay you need to take Caves Road, the road that connects the whole area. Gracetown is located 15 minutes north of the region’s nucleus, Margaret River, and three hours south of Perth’s International Airport. If you arrive in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, it’s better to rent a car. In Gracetown, and above all around Margaret, you’ll easily find accommodation options, shops, and many other services. One piece of advice is that if you want to catch waves at North Point, avoid going on the dates when they host the Telstra Drug Aware Pro, an event belonging to the WCT, as it will be very difficult to get a decent wave between the locals and the best surfers in the world.


North Point is only suitable for experienced surfers, and due to their level of demands, it provides an excellent training ground for the locals like Taj Burrow, Dino Adrian or Yadin Nicol who has built a house nearby. Others that stand out are the youths Creed McTaggart, Jack Robinson or the veterans Jake Patterson, Tom Innes, Brett Hardy and Dave Macaulay. Don’t worry if you don’t feel capable because there are other options there, mainly the left at South Point which is on the left side of the bay, or Hazards, the peak in the middle of the bay that’s suitable for all levels.



North Point is hollow, hard and very fast with a bowl at the end. From 3 to 5 feet it has sectioned breaks giving some respite at the various take off zones. From 6 to 8 feet there are two main sections.

In the first section, the take off is relatively accessible if you have a good level. You’ll also need to keep yourself quite high to be able to reach the next section, a double up which is considered as one of the most powerful barrels in Australia. It’s important that the wind blows offshore so that the wave holds and you can link up to the final section.

Anyone who surfs there should have the sufficient level, don’t forget that it will always be bigger and more powerful than it seems from outside so this or any other wave in Western Australia shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s not recommended to enter by the rocks in front of the peak, even though you’ll see the locals going in there. The best option is from the right side where the water is calmer and to paddle progressively from there out to the last section.


Watch the locals first to see how they move about the wave with their knowledge as it will be them that set the pace. The wave is very demanding and you should take care and be sure that you can pass the first section as there are rocks nearby and it’s on this shallow reef that Taj Burrow had a serious wipeout and ended up with stitches in his head.

Beware of ‘The Doctor’ a local crosshore wind that picks up in the middle of the day, especially in the summer. The best season is normally from October to March or May when the daily onshore SW winds stop and the first winter swells arrive. During the winter, the force of the sea is brutal and you often have to wait for the sea to drop to be able to get into the water. The spring, from September to November, is also a good time to visit. In the summer, although it’s unlikely, a swell that wakes up the North Point barrels could escape and if it happens it’s important to get up early to avoid the winds. During the summer months a shorty is usually sufficient, a 3 mm is sufficient for most of the year and on some of the colder winter days a 4 mm is necessary.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
  • Wind
    E - NE
  • Tide
    Medium - high
  • Swell
  • Bottom
  • Size
    2 to 4 m (6 to 12 ft)
  • Time of year
Suggested Spots
  • 1131 km from North Point Northwest Western Australia - Gnaraloo , Australia
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