Cable Station Artificial Surf Reef

Dutch mariner Willem de Vlamingh, landed on this beach in 1697, and so did the waves, until an artificial reef was constructed in 1999.

Cable Station Beach.

Cable Station Beach.

Cables has an important place in the history of Perth, and more recently, through the addition of an artificial reef.  Unless you don't mind a limestone imprint of fossilized marine life in your buttocks, you should take your beach towel elsewhere.  The white sandy expanse of Leighton and Port Beaches to the south, are much more suitable.  Cables forms part of the Cottesloe Reef ecosystem, and is more popular with surfers and divers.  It is also a nice place to watch the sun go down at the end of a balmy Perth afternoon.

Sunset at Cable Station Beach.


Sunset at Cable Station Beach.

Watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean is a daily bonus for Perth residents.

The setting sun and atmosphere, can sometimes play tricks across the water.  Here is a picture of Rottnest Island taken from Cable Station Beach.  The island is 18km from the coast, yet features including pine trees, lighthouses and wind propellers appear elongated.  This same effect can alter the appearance of ships on the horizon, giving them the ghostly "Flying Dutchman" look.     

Artificial Reef with Rottnest Island beyond.

The beach is named after an international telegraph cable that surfaced on the shore in the days before satellite communication.  The old cable station building is still there.  Dutch mariner Willem de Vlamingh landed at Cables centuries earlier in 1697.  His expedition was the first to sight the future location of Perth.  To find out more about this famous journey, check out the article on Vlamingh.

Two surfers & Dutch mariner Vlamingh
 still waiting out the back for a Cables wave.


A Genuine Artificial Reef Wave:   The objective of the artificial reef, was to generate a consistent wave, and take some of the crowds away from our northern beaches.  Well that was the idea.

In reality, Cables is rather calm during summer, though it still manages to look impressive from the cliff top viewing area.  If the ocean is flat, just look 300 metres out, and you will be taking in the view of Perth's only artificial surfing reef.  Perfecting on Mother Nature is a tall order, though I do believe the local fish population find it interesting.

USELESS FACT:   Take this one with a pinch of salt.  Dutch mariner Willem de Vlamingh was the first person to have  "sat out the back" at Cables.  The year was 1697.  In coming ashore, Willem unknowingly, became Perth's first surfer, as he caught that final wave onto the beach.

Endless Summer 1697.


Vlamingh landing in style (1697).  Despite extensive digging, local archaeologists
 are yet to recover his board.

Last wave of the day.

 Catching a wave in the late afternoon.

There is some debate about the wave quality at Cables following the construction of the artificial reef.  To be fair, Cables works best during winter, when a large swell is running along the coast.  To find out more about Cables and see it in action, check out the article on Surfing At Cables Artificial Reef.   There are some great winter breaks just south of Cottesloe Beach, that generate some nice waves along the Cottesloe Reef.

View of South Cottesloe Beach from Cable Station Beach.


Looking north towards South Cottesloe Beach.

Copyright 2007