Goodwin Sands is a fabulous spot for windsurfing & kitesurfing on the lower lake at Mallacoota in Victoria.
When the wind blows from the SW, this spot has a glassy-flat speed strip of about 1km long. The speed strip can also work in a SSW and S breeze but SW is the best direction for a blasting to and fro across the face of the sandbar.
This spot also works in a NW breeze where the wind funnels down the lake however the water is a little more choppy (but still quite flat) and the wind a little more gusty.
The water depth increases quickly on the northern side so foiling should be doable but watch out for sand bars protruding under water.
The water is brackish in colour with limited visibility and is not normally very cold during the summer months so a wetsuit is optional.
You can either access this spot via power boat (safest way) or you can sail to it from the mainland. See details below.
This is a pretty spectacular setting right in the middle of the lake so if you boat out there, take packed lunch or BBQ and make a day of it.
Access, Rigging & Launching
The best way to access this spot is via boat because the wind directions you would want to sail this spot are directly up or down the lake and there are many sand bars, islands and obstacles making up-wind sailing challenging (although it would probably be easier for kiters).
There are a couple of boat hire places in Mallacoota and if you are staying at the Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park, there is a boat hire at the northern end of the park called Mallacoota Hire Boats. These hire boats are half-cabin with an overhead awning so there is plenty of shelter plus you could easily fit about 2 – 4 adults & 2 – 3 windsurfers & rigs.
If you have dogs, most of the boat hire operators allow you to take the dog(s) on the boats. However be mindful that this is national park and dogs aren’t meant to be let loose on the Sands.
If boating out to the Goodwin Sands, head to the left end (west side) and drive around to the northern side where you will be able to nose the boat almost onto the sandy beach. It is not possible to land on the sandbar from the southern side as the approach is too shallow for a long way from shore.
There is plenty of room on the sandy beach to rig windsurfers and kites.
If you decide to sail out to the Goodwin Sands speed strip, park, rig & launch at Karbeethong where there is a big grassy area for rigging. This option would not be recommended if you have small gear as the wind may die out and getting home may be very difficult.
The main hazards here are sand bars and weed beds. These sand bars are constantly moving so take it easy on your first couple of runs.
I am not aware of any hazards under foot however there is a bit of weed so there may be sharp objects lurking. Wear booties of you are at all uncomfortable with stepping into weed.
1 Review on “Goodwin Sands, Mallacoota (VIC, Australia)”
I really loved sailing at this spot. It was a bit of an adventure getting out there on a boat (but very straight forward) making that much more special. The day I sailed here it was blowing from the NE (which is not the direction for the speed strip). The wind was gusty and very up-and down (5 – 20 knots) however the last 30 mins before leaving the wind came up to about 20+ knots and was much more consistent.
The bottom was mostly soft sand however you have to sail over some weed beds to get away from the shore in a NE breeze so it meant a tack to make this happen. There is no need for a weed fin and I didn’t wear booties and didn’t step on anything (I might have just been lucky!).
I would love to grab a group of mates and head out to this spot for a day with a BBQ. I am hoping to get back out there in a couple of days when a southerly is due to arrive but it looks like a particularly strong front.