Dangerously Windy: What Wind Speed is Too Strong for Australian Beaches?

What Wind Speed Is Too Windy for the Beach in Australia?

Beach days in Australia can be a lot of fun, but they can be ruined by a strong gust of wind. How windy is too windy for camping Australia?

Wind poses a number of issues, such as creating a sandblasting effect on people, blocking your view with sand, and making it hard to relax on the beach. To ensure you make the most out of your beach trips, it’s important to understand when the wind is too windy for the beach in Australia.

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how windy is too windy for camping australia

What is Wind Speed?

Wind speed is a measure of the velocity of the moving air. It is usually expressed in kilometres per hour (km/h). In Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) uses the ‘Beaufort Wind Scale’ to designate the wind in terms of familiar describes such as “light air’ or ‘strong gale’. The Beaufort Wind Scale assigns a category of 1 to 12 to the wind, with 1 being ‘calm’ and 12 being ‘hurricane force’.

How Windy is Too Windy for Camping in Australia?

Often times beachgoers are accompanied by campers, and wrapping up a beach day with a night of camping only increases the experience. But, just as with beaches, the wind speed can get too much for camping in Australia. The BoM has designated that wind speeds of 20-40 km/h (Beaufort 4-7) can disrupt camping. This wind speed is known as strong breeze and strong wind respectively. At this wind speed, tents can become unstable and sand and windblown debris can become a nuisance.

Strong Wind

At wind speeds above 40 km/h, camping can become dangerous due to the danger of being hit by flying objects, trees and gusty conditions. Strong gusts can bring down power lines and typically blows away any objects left unsecured, including tents. Additionally, the sand and loose debris can cause irritation to the eyes and skin. Therefore, camping in wind speeds above 40 km/h is not recommended.

How Windy is Too Windy for the Beach in Australia?

While camping can become a precarious situation in wind speeds above 40 km/h, beaches can become equally dangerous. Generally, an onshore wind that is blowing between 40-70 km/h (Beaufort 8-10) is considered too windy for the beach. At these speeds the wind can cause problems such as sandblasting, beach erosion, loss of visibility and dangerous debris. The latter can be deadly if it’s not seen in time.

Strong Wind Waves

Also, high winds make it difficult to stand on the beach or even navigate waters. High seas will be caused by strong winds, making swimming very dangerous. In extreme cases, rough surf can cause serious injury to those who don’t take the necessary precautions.

Ensuring a Safe & Comfortable Beach Experience

As an experienced camper and father of three kids, I understand how important it is to be aware of the wind speed on a beach day. We all want to make the most out of our trips and ensure everyone is safe and comfortable. For that reason, preparation is key. Be sure to check the BoM website to figure out the forecast before you embark on a beach trip in Australia.

Always keep in mind that most beach recreation is best enjoyed in wind speeds below 20 km/h (Beaufort 3). If the forecast is for 20 km/h or above, you may want to consider a different beach spot or rotate activities to take advantage of winds below 20 km/h.

Final Thoughts

By understanding the wind speed on the beach, you can get the most out of your visit and keep everyone safe and comfortable. At wind speeds of 20-40 km/h, camping can be disrupted, while levels above 40 km/h can be dangerous. In summary, it’s best to stay away from wind speeds of 40 km/h and above.

To make sure your beach trips go without a hitch, always check the BoM website and plan activities accordingly. The wind can be an unpredictable and dangerous element, so make sure to keep an eye out for it when you’re out on the beach.


Strong Wind Waves

Above all, have fun and enjoy your beach experience the safe and responsible way. And remember, a good beach trip will never be ‘blown away’ by the wind!