Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania

Apr 4th 2012
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The Mega Mutant of Tasmania

The eastern coast of the Tasman Sea finds this exposed right-hand reef break mutating enormous waves for those who dare to ride them. The local boys like Marty Paradisis, Mike Brennan, and brothers James and Tyler Hollmer-Cross are fearless out here and have clocked in staircase airdrop pits that no one else dares. This is an extreme, world-class break where double-overheads and triple-overwides are not uncommon. The Bluff is also geographically isolated by huge cliffs; the walk-in is quite long thus no one is simply “hanging out” here. It’s very possible that you’ll be the only rider around for miles, with the potential to be shark bait if things get hairy. Go with a group and keep tabs on each other.

Local surfers regard riding this wave as a spiritual rite of passage. Your survival instincts will kick in as this wave does some truly breathtaking things when it’s working. The barrels can build from 4 to 16 feet while you’re inside them. Watch out for rocks, bring a 3/4 wetsuit and a day’s worth of provisions (not to mention a first-aid kit), and this could be a life-altering experience.

Travel Information
To get to Shipstern, fly in to Hobart International Airport (HBA) in Tasmania. Rent a car for the 1.5 hour trek to Point Arthur. Take Nubeena Road towards Nubeena and turn off towards Stormlea Road. This will lead you to Cape Raoul Nat. Park your car at the sign for Shipstern Bluff and brace yourself for a two hour walk to the water.... just check out this video►

Video: Kelly Slater on 1 wave at Shipsterns
  • Airport code: GEE
  • Language: English
  • Ability level: Advanced - certified maniacs
  • Bottom: Large rock boulders
  • Hazards: Body-breaking power, sharks, drowning, isolated
  • Season: March-August
  • Best Winds: S-SE
  • Swell Direction: W, SW
  • Wave Length: 30-60 m
  • Waves Size: 6-20 ft
  • Wave Report

Region Australia & Oceania
CategoriesAustralia, Big Wave, Oceania and Pacific Island, Reef Break, Rights