We had read quite a lot about Coronation Beach, just a little north of Geraldton, being a great free camp spot. So it was always on the cards that we would spend a bit of time there. Free camp is a bit of a misnomer, but only paying $8 per head per night is pretty good.
There were plenty of sites to choose from at this time of year and only around 10 other campsites taken when we got there. They are nicely laid out with plenty of privacy between camps and some characters out there! There are really clean drop toilets and shower rooms (BYO water), and a campground manager who cleans them all daily as well as keeping the campground generally tidy.
Between the campground and the beach is a public parking day area and each day it would get busy with vans coming down and men and women of all ages unloading either their windsurfing equipment or kite boarding gear. We saw every age from early 20’s to I swear a man in his 80’s get out on the waves. What a show! By early afternoon the water was teeming with windsurfers and kite boarders sharing the space, no problems.
Luke and Jens a couple of mates from Perth were camped near us and were there for the windsurfing too. They said it was such a popular spot because it has a consistent cross wind which makes it perfect for getting out and back in again. Apparently a lot of European teams come here to test gear regularly.
I took lots of photos of the action and got a good overview of the campsite from above, via a set of steps leading to a lookout. Nice sunset then a very black, dark, quiet night.
On our second day we went for a walk about 1 kilometre up the beach to where the water looked clear and seaweed free, to have a go at fishing. Lovely spot – no fish for us.
By early afternoon the wind was picking up again and the boarders were all heading out again. We noticed a bit of a buzz going on around the place and people coming up to a woman who had arrived and was setting up her equipment ready to head out.
We had the feeling that she was someone special so we headed over to a shelter on the beach and there we met Edison from Singapore. He had been out windsurfing earlier with a gopro on his helmet and he was all a flutter having just met and had a selfie with the woman, Sarah Quita Offringa. She is the 2016 world champion freestyle and slalom windsurfer and known as the “freestyle Queen”.
She is from Aruba but was here for a photo shoot and this was her day off. Just out for fun.
Edison’s enthusiasm was infectious so we raced over and introduced ourselves and she was so lovely and happy to have another selfie – as she did with everyone who approached her. Then for 2 hours we sat and watched her perform her magic out on the waves, doing tricks and flipping her board, backwards and forwards on the waves until the sun went down.
What an amazing lady, a privilege to watch her and others in this amazing little corner of Australia.
There was a real mixture of accents around the place as some of the best in their field congregate here from across the globe at this windsurfing paradise.
What a gem it was to find this place and so much more than we expected.