On the western side of the Point are the world famous Cactus (1326) and Castles (1327) beaches, and their surrounding surfing breaks (Fig. 4.186). The Penong Road runs along the back of Cactus Beach, with a large camping area set amongst the dune scrub, between the road and beach, and... Read more
On the western side of the Point are the world famous Cactus (1326) and Castles (1327) beaches, and their surrounding surfing breaks (Fig. 4.186). The Penong Road runs along the back of Cactus Beach, with a large camping area set amongst the dune scrub, between the road and beach, and good vehicle and foot access to the back of the beach. There is a small camp store, which provides the only commercial activity in the area. The beaches are 250 and 400 m long respectively. They face west and are backed by a low foredune, bordered by calcarenite bluffs and fronted by exposed beachrock and shallow calcarenite reefs. In lee of the reefs is a narrow high tide sand beach, and while waves can be large on the outer reefs, they are usually less than 0.5 m when they finally reach the beach. However both beaches are drained by strong permanent rips, particularly off Castles.In addition to the Cactus left and Castles right surf breaks off the beaches, to the south of Cactus out on Point Sinclair is Witzigs, Backdoors and Cunns, while off the north Castles bluff is Caves, Crushers and Supertubes. All the breaks are over calcarenite reefs and receive slight protection and cleaner waves owing to refraction around the point and over outer deeper reefs.
It is difficult to swim at Cactus owing to the extensive rock flats and reefs. The best locations are inshore at Shelly beach for surf, and in the swimming net at Port Le Hunte for calm, shark-free, conditions. Rocks, reef and rips dominate all other locations.
Cactus has several excellent breaks which have made this remote part of the Great Australian Bight a mecca for surfers, some of whom have stayed on to live in the dunes.
Point Sinclair offers beach, rock and boat fishing and is a popular year-round fishing location with locals and travellers.
While Point Sinclair has been a popular location and a port for 100 years, it is the surf that has placed in on the map and lead to the development of the camping area, with its open-air facilities built of the local rocks. It is worth the easy 20 km drive out to Cactus, the last few kilometres across the salt flats of Lake McDonnell. It is an arid and interesting area, with massive sand dunes bordering the western entrance.Read less
Beach Patrols Change Day
SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.
General Hazard Rating: 5/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: sa1326