Point Henry (Victoria Australia)
Point Henry is located on the Bellarine Peninsula on Port Phillip Bay near Geelong (approximately 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne).
This spot is great for flat-water-blasting and bump-and-jump and works best in a strong Northerly or a Westerly (NW being best). N & S is cross-shore; add a bit of W and you get a nice cross-on-shore.
When the wind blows from the north, the water is protected by a large sandbar near the shipping channel. This means dead-flat water in the sailing area.
In southerlies, the wind chop can be a little sloppy but not that big (max 1 m) as the depth of the water is only 1 to 2 m in the sailing area.
It is suited to both windsurfing and kitesurfing (but definitely better for kites) from beginners through to experts.
The water is only waist-deep for a long-way out so beginners will feel very safe here.
Whilst foiling would be possible further out, the amount of weed collection might be an issue with a foil.
The spot offers good flat water sailable from almost every direction and is a great spot for kiters looking to learn new tricks and windsurfers learning to gybe.
It is recommended you wear booties so as not to cut your feet on sea urchins.
Access, Rigging & Launching
There are 2 launching/rigging areas:
Southern Car Park – there is a track that turns left as you are passing the old Alcoa site just before you go around the right bend at the water. Follow the track to the end and there is a car park on the waters edge. From here you can access the southern part of Stingaree Bay. It is a bit of a walk out at low tide but a good place to sail.
Northern Carpark – this car park is at the northern end of the point. It is more popular for kiters as there is more room for rigging & launching. The point can be weedy and collect on windsurfer fins at low tide so a weed fin is recommended here.
The bottom is more muddy than the southern car park however there are fewer (to no) sea urchins.
Sailing is generally on the western side of the point however when the wind is blowing from the NW to N, the water can be super flat on the east side of the point.
The northern car park has public toilets and dogs are allowed off-lead. There is also some nice trees for shading.
The only real hazard here is Sea Urchins which reside in the weeds. However locals say that they are more likely to be found at the southern carpark. They are not poisonous however their barbs can stick into you feet. Whilst booties are recommended I was told the barbs can actually go through booties as well.
Also watch out for broken glass, sharp rocks and the unlikely stingray.
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- Flat Water Blasting
- Speed Sailing
- Bump and Jump
- Flat Water
- Small Waves
- Cold Water
- Moderate Temp Water
- Salt Water
- Easy Launching
- On-site Parking
- Free Parking
- Public Toilets
- Dog Friendly Beach
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2 Reviews on “Point Henry (Victoria Australia)”
This was my first visit & I left with the impression that it was a good spot for slalom windsurfing in NW to NE wind directions & it could even be good in SW. While the wind was still gusty, it was far less so than it would have been in Port Phillip Bay, the water smoother & chop direction more comfortable.
My favourite place to sail was in the middle, around the area of the shipping channel, where the wind felt stronger & more consistent, the water clearer & containing less weed.
It would be an advantage to have a weed fin; my slalom fins frequently got clogged with weed, causing a lot of drag & spinouts.
We windsurfed here on a 38 degree day with a NNE breeze gusting from 12 to 29 knots. The wind was hot so seriously lacked punch. However when the wind got up it was serious fun blasting across the flat water at this spot. Whilst the wind was gusty it didn’t tend to come in bullets but rather dropped out and then you could see the gusts coming across the water which gently picked up.
On the downside for windsurfers, as the tide goes out so does the water and you have to walk about 50 – 100 m in soft weed to get to deep enough water (unless you have small fins on your board). There was also quite a bit of weed floating in the bay so getting weed tangled around a slalom fin was a bit of an issue. A raked fin is definitely more advantageous here.
I didn’t wear booties here however I did feel a bit insecure walking out in the weed/mud. I think booties a good idea particularly for windsurfers having to walk out a bit to the deeper water.
The rigging area has a few good grassy areas and the beach is a mix of sand and shells. There is a reasonable amount of parking and you don’t have to cart your gear more than a few metres. There are also public toilets and dogs are allowed off-lead however please pick up your dog’s poo as there was quite a bit of it around the area.
If you are looking to blast across flat water on a northerly breeze this is a spot worth a look just 1.5 hours drive south of Melbourne.
For kitesurfers this is would be a brilliant spot and would probably increase the overall rating to 4/5.