It’s known by more names than any other surfing break – Summercloud Bay, Wreck Bay, Aussie Pipeline, Black Rock. Possibly that’s an attempt to retain a bit of the mystery (and confusion) that surrounded its location back in the late ’60s, when this “secret spot” was known only to the surfing cognoscenti and to the local Aboriginal community at Wreck Bay.

It’s known by more names than any other surfing break – Summercloud Bay, Wreck Bay, Aussie Pipeline, Black Rock. Possibly that’s an attempt to retain a bit of the mystery (and confusion) that surrounded its location back in the late ’60s, when this “secret spot” was known only to the surfing cognoscenti and to the local Aboriginal community at Wreck Bay, about 170km south of Sydney, between Jervis Bay and Sussex Inlet.

Aboriginals have been here since the Bay was formed 11,000 years ago, from whom the current occupants are all descended. In 1995 the area was renamed Booderee National Park and handed over to the community – which makes it especially big of them, really, to even allow white folks to bowl up and partake of their own slice of surfing Nirvana.

Summercloud Bay, the actual location of the break, has great spiritual significance; if you want to avoid any bad vibes in the water, it’s wise to treat being here as a privilege, just as you might when paddling out somewhere famous in Hawaii. That way, you stand a decent chance of being greeted with the Aboriginal version of “Aloha.”

When the standard summer nor’easter is blowing into a southerly swell and everything else is mush, Wreck Bay is turning on. There are sharks everywhere, many of them nasty, but the wave is just too good to let that worry you.

Where // These days it’s all sign-posted and easy to find: Wreck Bay Rd heads south from Jervis Bay Road 2km east of the Caves Beach turn-off and runs into Summercloud Bay Rd. Just follow your nose along the short track to the left from the car park.

Did you know? // Nearby Hyams Beach, inside Jervis Bay, claims to have the world’s whitest sand – although no-one knows exactly how they measure sand whiteness. Suffice to say that if you visit, you can finally justify the purchase of a $200 pair of sunnies.

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