Wave Riding in Western Australia
A native of Perth in western Australia, photographer Caleb Davenport shows us what it’s like to travel (and surf!) some of the most isolated parts of the world. With virtually untouched waves and unpolluted skies, the atmosphere of the desolate regions of western Australia can feel like an alien planet.
Here Caleb reveals the stories behind his photographs:
"The Boab tree is native to Australia. The larger Boabs have a much wider, much more hollow base in which some aboriginal tribes used as a jail for wrong doing."
"A very Australian looking landscape, this photograph was taken in the northern tip of western Australian in a town called Kununurra. Quite the unforgiving landscape for the ignorant traveler."
"The mighty Ord River, also found passing through the town of Kununurra. Infested with salt and freshwater crocodiles, we took our chances jumping in its refreshing water to beat the summer heat. This shot was taken from a helicopter, my mates and I wanted to see the barren landscape from above."
"The amount of coastline with amazing waves around Australia is like nowhere else in the world; empty waves like this are breaking all the time with no one in sight. This is a reasonably well known spot in the Wine region of southwest Australia."
"A common sight in western Australia due to the intense summer heat regularly reaching 40-45 °C (110-115 °F)."
"Crocodiles are everywhere in the northern half of the Australian continent. You can never be too careful especially when some salty's can reach lengths of 25 feet and weigh more than a ton! This was taken while in search for a secret fishing spot."
"Despite being a very dry land, Australia still has some beautifully green landscapes, especially along the coast where trekking to the surf isn’t all that bad. This photo was also snapped in the Wine region, a fairly rugged terrain."
"With Australia being so far from anything, our oceans are crisp, clean and unpolluted. About 30 minutes after this shot, we saw a large shadow as we duck dived under a wave. Turned out to be a massive great white shark, so we got out pretty quick. The waves were so good and empty that we had to go back in the water, regardless of the threat."
"The ocean is pretty raw and untamed in the southern parts of western Australia. The next bit of land south is Antarctica."
"Some 1,000 miles from the nearest city, we trek up to this surf spot once a year and stay for a month and camp in the desert, isolated from the city lights. You have to bring all of your food and water with you as they have barely any supplies in the sheep station -- except for one little shop run by the owners that make the most amazing mango smoothies."
"Welcome to where the five rivers meet. Wyndham is a long way from anywhere, which is pretty clear from this image. Flood plains reaching as far as the eye can see, full of plenty of crocs, I’m sure. Five Rivers is named after its vantage point over the Ord, Forrest, King, Durack and Pentecost Rivers that merge with the Cambridge Gulf."
"Got our snacks and supplies, now to search for waves along the desert coast. The nearest town is 200 miles away. Our 'local' surf check spans 80 miles of secret wave ridden coast, full of sand dunes and rocks requiring four-wheel drive and plenty of spare tires and fuel."
Nothing like a cold Emu Export after a full day of surfing empty waves under the desert sun. Follow it up with campfire under the stars at night, and call it a perfect 24 hours. The sky around these areas is world renowned by astronomers for being some of the clearest views of the night sky."
"The road trip across the Nullabor is a lonely, isolated trip. You can find out who you are on this barren land... or you can lose your mind. On this particular surf trip, the gas stations were 400-500 miles apart. Here the fuel stops are the actual towns, but with very limited supplies."
"Some 2,000 miles from the nearest city, halfway across the Nullarbor plain, it was time to play some guitar and drink some wine after 20 hours of driving across the Great Australian Bight. Endless views of whales migrating at this spot."
"Made it to south Australia and the waves were pumping with no one around. After having a fun session here, we drove for another 40 minutes and found waves we hadn’t surfed before. We had to paddle 30 minutes out to sea in murky waters past two seal colonies, which is never a good sign when 15-20ft great whites are spotted regularly."
"One of the few true locals saying g’day up in the empty desert landscape. Red Bluff is my favorite place in the world."
"We've been coming to this spot for about 10 years now and usually get it to ourselves for a month straight. No one else but me and a few mates in the warm blue water."
"Exploring the desert coast by jet ski makes life and sussing out waves a whole lot easier, plus you can catch a feed on your way back to camp. Fishing from the ski gets a bit frustrating when you get a shark on your line and have nowhere to land it but on the sled."
"The renowned 'Wave Rock' located in the middle of nowhere, just outside of a small town called Hyden. Pretty cool to see it for the first time at midnight. We laid under it for an hour or so with a few beers and then continued on our 1,000 mile remainder of the trip."