North to Noosa: Chapter 1
~ FAREWELL CAMPERDOWN ~
Forecast, what forecast? Just go. That’s what our ragtag group of surfers has done. Our convoy involves a borrowed 78 Ford van and three motorbikes. Destination Noosa. On Sunday we headed north, gripping the handlebars in the first ray of sunshine that Sydney had seen in three days.
The dry didn’t last for long, only thirty clicks out of town we hit our first rainsquall. My friends and I found out just what it’s like to ride through pelting rain at high speeds. With a strong southeaster blowing the only chance of surf was behind one of the east coasts notorious headlands. At our first stop the waves weren’t ideal. It was up to the dirt roads and 650cc of torque to give us the thrill we were after. The best line I drew was not on a wave. It was around a corner. I can’t say that that’s ever happened before.
Waves or not, it was nice to be out of the city. We set up camp near one of the back-beaches, lit the fire and dried out the socks. Wake up > surf > “On the road again.” (Willie Nelson, ‘On the Road Again’, 1980) Each time I dared to take my eyes of the white line I noticed flooding. The road to the coast from Kempsey had been closed off for a week before we got there. It opened for us and we found out what it was like to be really wet. One of the boys attempted to gas it… he’ll be wearing wet boots for the rest of the trip. After three kilometers through floodwater we arrived at one of Australia’s renowned point breaks. We surfed in the same brown floodwater that soaked us on the way.
This may not be the modern day, know before you go, style of surf trip, with all-time swells forecasted, but we’re getting wet and having a good time. And this is only just the beginning.
~ HARRISON ROACH
Photography by Anthony Dodds & Thomas Walk