Sandon point is located at the base of the Bulli Pass north of Wollongong. It has a strong history in the hard core surfing world. In the mid to late seventies Sandon Point was surfed by surfers who were dedicated to the true spirit of surfing and were able to enjoy classic days in virtually uncrowded conditions. Sandon Point's location leaves it open to the large southerly swells and can hold up to 20 feet with no problem.
Many years ago it was also the location of a huge pier which was used to offload coal onto sea freighters. The pier was subsequently washed away by a giant swell (before this surfer can remember) leaving only the poles.
Untill the mid 80s a large pole remained standing proud and creating an obstacle for the brave who cared to surf those big days when the swell wrapped around the point and went through to the inside beach.
A surf pic from 1979 showing the pole at Sandon Point
Surfers who were unable to negotiate this pole, either flicked off or risked hitting the pole or falling and risking landing on one of the smaller steel poles which lay just under the water's surface. I have seen a helicopter used to pull a surfer from the water who fell pray to one of the smaller steel poles.
a clasic day at Sandon- small steel pole in foreground
A few surfers have lost their lives due to the poles at Sandon Point. On low tide you can see small memorial plaques to fallen surfers on the reef. Others have fallen and lost their boards to the many small caves which are in the face of the rock platform. Other hazards here are the thousands of sea urchins which line the underwater sandstone rocks and reef.
The southern side of Sandon Point is a less ridden wave as most days after the take-off it gets very fat. But the South side of Sandon Point can also turn it on, with long fat walls, where your legs are screaming from exhaustion after the 10th big cut-back.
Sandon Point is definitely for experienced surfers only and by far is one of Australia's best kept surfing secrets. One last warning! beware of the locals as they have a deep respect for the point, its waves and don't take kindly to intruders.
uncrowded in the 70s and 80s
Localism hit the forefront at Sandon Point and many other surf breaks in this area when the Sydney Suburban trains were able to make regular runs to Wollongong. Making an area which was only accessible by car (approx 60 kms from Sydney) into a suburban train stop bringing many surfers who were trying to escape the crowds on Sydney Beaches.