THE LURERide wild and free far up north. It's not only the islands that have it good in this part of the world. Ant Hadleigh runs Australian Kite Surfari and will pick you up in Cairns where the adventure really begins...
THE SET-UPThe four day / three night surfari will take you to an isolated beach at Cape Flattery, about 90 minutes north of Cooktown. The consistent trade winds and remote pristine beaches of this part of the world make a recipe for an amazing kitesurfing holiday, as long as you've got four wheel drive, which Ant has! Then just getting to the kitesurfing locations is half the fun! Departing Cairns early to watch the sun rise over the Coral Sea, you'll head north. Driving through Daintree World Heritage National Park you'll see some the world's oldest surviving old growth rainforest. From there you lock in the four wheel drive for the river crossings and mountain range climbs of the famous Bloomfield track. Wave goodbye to tourists, shops and fuel stations at the historic coastal town of Cooktown; you're about to go feral! Entering the traditional Aboriginal land and heading into the unknown you'll start to sense the remoteness of far north Queensland. No cars in your rear-view mirrors, just bull dust billowing off your wheels. After more creek crossings, mud bogs and sand traps you will eventually catch the first glimpses of the ocean. Driving along the beach timing is essential as the beach camps can only be accessed at low tide. As the tide comes in and you get cut off from the rest of the world, all your worries and responsibilities are left a million miles away. North or south, there's only spectacular scenery. Beautifully remote with just miles and miles of white sandy beaches and clear warm tropical water. The days are filled with big downwind runs, hitting bay after bay filled with warm, flat tropical water and cranking winds. But why tack back to camp when the eight wheel drive all-terrain amphibious vehicle is following you? Loaded with icy cold drinks and a mixture of snacks, this unstoppable machine is about the only vehicle that can drive these areas without disappearing into the sand and provides a complimentary service back to camp. Too easy!
WIND, WATER & WEATHERThe trade winds add the final element to your kiting picture postcard scene and they lash this section of coast between April and November.
ACCOMMODATIONIt may be a remote beach camp but every need has been catered for. From the sand spear that pumps 30 litres per minute of fresh water from the sand to a bush-crafted hot water system so you can enjoy a hot shower after a hard day's kiting. You will enjoy a great night's sleep in quality tents and camp stretchers will guarantee you wake up fresh and ready to go again.
NO WINDMaybe try your hand at catching a fish for lunch? Meet traditional Aboriginal land owners who still fish using the traditional method of spear and woomera to hunt and make genuine artefacts. Awesome nature is another big part of the trip, with ancient trees, lush tree ferns and climbing wait-a-while palms. You might see the giant Southern Cassowary - Australia's heaviest, flightless bird - an endangered species. Also encounter kangaroos, dingos, lizards, butterflies and many hundreds of species of birds - coastal and rainforest. Make sure you bring your camera!
GET AROUNDAt some point you realise what is involved in making a world class adventure become a reality. The unsinkable rescue boat, eight-wheel drive all-terrain amphibious vehicle... the list goes on. But none of that is for you to worry about! The night sky gets lit by millions of stars and the sparks dance from the bonfire as you enjoy meals cooked over coals in a true Bushman style. There are no other campers about and no other kiters. This is paradise and only available to the select few, as only groups of up to eight are taken at any one time.
FOOD AND DRINKWhile you are enjoying the wind, the team set-up camp with everything, including: eskies, bush fridge, cook pots, fishing rods, barbeques, bonfire equipment, plus sand surfing boards, elevated tents and even a toilet tent.
AIRPORTFly to Cairns (CNS). Trips depart from Cairns northern beaches, Port Douglas or Mossman, between April and November.
Lake Como | Italy
Just an hour from Milan and home of the Italian Freestyle Champion, Stefano Martinelli, you can be sure you’ll pack in the riding time on Lake Como. Mix your kitesurfing trip with beautiful food, historical site visits and there’s also a cable park filled with kickers and sliders just a ten minute bike ride from the spot of Colico.
Baraka Charters | The Caribbean
Embark on a week-long quest for waves and flat water spots in crystal-clear, warm seas, many that are only accessible by boat, creating your own dynamic adventure through the pristine Caribbean oceans. You’ll anchor at idyllic spots around remote tropical islands with the thrill of launching directly off the boat. Your kite spot will extend to the horizon, shared with only the handful of riders also onboard. A change of scenery everyday, this is the the freshest of experiences you could hope to have.
Cocos Keeling Islands | Australia
Warm, flat aqua-blue waters that you’ll find here are like the kiting conditions you see in your dreams. Perfect for beginner and advanced riders wanting 15 – 20 knot winds morning, noon and night. There’s no wonder that The Cocos Islands are growing in reputation for blissful kiteboarding and if you’re lucky you can kite with the turtles, reef sharks and manta rays.
Kalpitiya | Sri Lanka
Experience phenomenal kite safari opportunities or stay right at your boutique hotel situated right on the flat water lagoon, with the option of riding on the sea. You can even watch the conditions from the pool!
Ulcinj | Montenegro
A new kiting hotspot on mainland Europe is being developed in Montenegro, former Yugoslavia. Ulcinj (pronounced: ‘Ooltseenie’), the southernmost town in Montenegro features a 14 kilometre long sandy beach and super steady side-onshore thermal winds that blow every day in the summer!
Keros | Limnos | Greece
Keros is a super safe sandy kitesurfing bay with a variety of conditions, suitable for all. The whole set up is within a protected ecosystem where you can spot wildlife such as rabbits, flamingos and rare species of flora.
The Algarve | Portugal
Glassy morning wakeboarding or surfing sessions are the perfect way to kick the early hours off, then it’s over to an afternoon of regular 25 knot wind speeds for some kiting action, changing spots a few times a week.
Sotavento | Fuerteventura
A year-round kiting holiday-makers’ favourite, Sotavento has a huge wide-open tropical beach land where you can ride the warm, shallow lagoon or hop over to the bright blue ocean for more bump ‘n’ jump action. Check out the stats – it blows here!