Crescent Head National Surfing Reserve stretches along 3.5 km of spectacular coastline either side of the Head. Crescent Head became a well worn trail for surfers following World War II and became widely recognised as a breeding ground for long board surfing in Australia. One of the longest and most classic right hand point breaks in Australia.
The first person to surf the Crescent Head point break, using a surfboard as we know it today, as John Westaway in the 1950s. John had to obtain permission from the Kempsey – Crescent Head SLSC to use the board.
In 1958 John Westaway, Bob Marvin and David Cheers purchased solid balsa boards in Newcastle and took to the waves. Other surfers soon followed.
Surfers who discovered the swell and magnificent sets of Crescent Head would camp over weekends, often leaving their boards at the beach until their return the following weekend.
Bob Evans started Surfing World Magazine in 1962, and arrived in Crescent Head in 1963 with a team of 25 experienced surfers including Midget Farrelly and Alby Falzon. A good three to five foot wave with perfect conditions meant the word spread fast about Crescent Head.
Midget Farrelly, Crescent Head circa 1962 Photograph : Bob Evans
Midget Farrelly once commented that Crescent Head had the best surf in the area, and by the early 1960s approximately 20 surfers were regularly surfing the point. Soon after in 1964 Midget won the first World Surfing Championship, and this opinion attracted many more surfers to explore the location.
Midget Farrelly and Bob Evans would have the reputation forever for establishing Crescent Head “the first stop on the surfers NSW North Coast journey in pursuit of the perfect wave”.
Everyday surfers, long boarders, campers and holidaymakers still trek to this beautiful coastal town today for perfect point break waves and a step back in time.