Dolphins in Margaret River, Yallingup near Margaret River

Surf School in Margaret River
Josh Palmateer Q&A

We took five with former pro-surfer Josh Palmateer to find out more about his surf school in Margaret River. A Margaret River local, Josh gave us the hot tips on what cool things you should do when you’re in town, and what lesson and hire options he has on offer at the Josh Palmateer Surf School.

Just three hours drive south of Perth you will find the beautiful little town of Margaret River. It’s famed for its towering Karri forests, world-class vineyards, stunning caves and huge waves. One thing most tourists don’t do when they visit is actually jump in a canoe and paddle along the stunning Margaret River. Margaret River is 40km long and flows out into the Indian Ocean at one of the world’s most famous surf breaks, Surfer’s Point. Nullarbor Traveller partnered with Josh Palmateer’s Surf Academy, hiring his canoes and getting passengers on the water to truly immerse themselves in the pristine nature that is Margaret River.

The local legend and former pro-surfer tells us about his favourite surf breaks, bars and must see highlights when visiting the region.

How long have you lived in South West WA?

I have lived in Margaret River for 32 years so you could say I was a local.

You were a professional surfer and travelled the world competing in the late 80s and early 90s. Tell us what that was like?

Travelling around the world as a professional surfer was as good as it gets. What else would a 17 year old boy rather be doing than surfing all day in the best waves in the world. You cant beat that !!!

What is your favourite wave in the world?

North Point just north of Margaret River and even better it’s right in my backyard.

What do you think is so special about Margaret River?

Margaret River is such a special place for me as all my family are here and it has some of the best waves in the world. There are so many sensational sights and places to see and experience. WA rocks!  

What is the history and story behind the Josh Palmateer’s Surf Academy?

I started the surf school once I finished pro surfing back in 1996. The ocean is what I know best so I thought, let’s give other people an experience in a sport that I love so much.  

Surf some of the best waves in the world at Margaret River in Western Australia on a Nullarbor Traveller adventure tour

You introduced canoe and kayak hire to your company. Most people that come to Margaret River would not have the incredible experience of canoeing along it. Tell us what it’s like to canoe down Margaret River?

We introduced kayaking / canoeing and stand-up paddle-boarding into our business to be able to offer travellers to our region the option of learning to surf, or going for a paddle up the most scenic and untouched river in Western Australia. It was a no-brainer, as we operate the surf school at the Margaret River Mouth Beach. The Margaret River is the cleanest river system in the South West, it is incredible and you can only access it by paddle craft which keeps it such a peaceful river. It also has so much Indigenous heritage and it is a river worth really experiencing.

What aspects of you job do you love the most? 

I guess I love the ocean and my job allows me to be in and around the ocean every single day. I could not think of a better place to be – the ocean is my church.

Favourite venue for a Sunday session?

Best Sunday Session would be the Margaret River Tavern and the Margaret River Hotel. You can do both places if you choose, easy as pie!

Favourite winery in the region and why?

I actually don’t drink wine. I like beer so the Black Brewing Company is always a great place for a drink or two, plus their food is sensational.

What are some of the other attractions or highlights of the region that you tell people they can’t miss?

Surfing, kayaking, caving and exploring our wonderful untouched and pristine coastline. A must see for everyone.

Discover the incredible coastline and canoe along The Margaret River on our Margaret River Tours from Perth.  

Canoeing on Margaret River in Western Australia