In diverse places in Australia, you can find opportunities to try sandboarding. With all the locations and our vast desert and abundant beaches, there are those with massive dunes that can be ridden without too much trouble.
Out of all the sports available, it is quite safe since the sand gives way if you were to fall, softening any landing. You can also find dunes of different sizes, so you can get plenty of experience before trying some of the really massive dunes. Not only that, there is no need to ride standing up, you can sit or lie down on a tobbogan.
There are even specialist tours available. In the Kalbarri, Western Australia there is a tour that will take you to the two hundred and eighty foot high ’Superbowl’.
Kangaroo Island is famous for a lot of things, not only for its natural splendour, but its sandboarding. You can also try your hand at sandboarding at Port Stephens, in New South Wales (North of Sydney).
Another famous place for sandboarding are the Stockton Dunes, also in NSW. Near Nelson Bay, the dune system here covers more than 4,000 hectares. With sand dunes of all sizes, there are some of them up to forty metres high.
See below for more info.
In some places in Australia the dunes are off-limits because they are in National Parks or protect the beaches, but otherwise, they are there to be conquered.
The continent of Australia formed over many eons, in a long and protracted process, where much sand was deposited during the time when shallow seas covered most of it. More of it gets blown onland by the winds, forming dunes and long ridges even deep in the interior of the country.
We even have a desert named the Great Sandy Desert, when a gulf formed linked to the ocean, its reefs depositing sand over millenia.
A fun activity for families, not just younger males, sandboarding involves using a special board, designed to withstand the wear and tear of sand but able to glide with ease. Although requiring a certain level of fitness and agility since you have to climb up dunes, there is still plenty of fun to be had.
In the desert and behind beaches in Australia, you cand find dunes to surf. The closest thing to snowboarding as a sport, it is one of those questions that every surfer must face in his lifetime: What do you do when the surf is choppy or just non-existent and the weather is warm?
New South Wales: Near Nelson Bay just north of Newcastle, the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes cover an area some 32 kilometres long and up to a kilometre wide. Here you can surf the dunes with Stockton Bight Sand Dunes, they also offer training. With them, you can surf the 30 to 50 metre dunes as long as you like.
Western Australia, Kalbarri: Near where the first animal, a giant water scorpion, is known to have walked on land in Australia and left tracks, a 280 foot high sand crater named the Superbowl is the greatest challenge. You can do a sandboarding tour there with www.sandboardingaustralia.com.au, complete with training lessons, or with their To the Max tour, for those experienced enough to take on monster sized dunes.
South Australia, Kangaroo Island: A favourite spot is here is Little Sahara. With dunes rising up to as high as 70 metres and covering some 2 sq. kilometres, there are plenty of opportunities on offer for that ultimate land slide. Experience the thrill with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action.
Don’t forget your sunscreen.
Find places to stay throughout Australia: Australia Accommodation.
Questions to ponder when there is no surf:
Surfergrommet wants to know: Is there surf on other planets?
Wannabee wants to know: Does Charlie surf?
Bothered wants to know: Do surf nazis really exist?
Main Photo: Riding the Dunes at Kangaroo Island. Photo: Greg Snell
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