International
Somewhere in Australia: an undisclosed location near Gareth Hutchens’s favourite beach. Photograph: Gareth Hutchens for the Guardian

Why I refuse to tell you where my favourite beach is

One day it will be overrun with holidaymakers, but at this point in history it’s still unspoiled

There’s a near-perfect wave on the east coast of Australia somewhere.

If the swell’s coming from the right direction and the wind’s blowing lightly offshore, and it’s low-tide, it can fire.

To get there, you have to turn off a highway on to a dirt track. At the end of the track, leave your car and take your board and wetsuit. Take some water with you. Push through the scrub and make your way down a long path towards the ocean.

If the swell’s big enough, you’ll hear the wave before you see it. It will be booming.

The wave emerges from deep water, hits a rock shelf and triples in size, then pitches and throws hard over the reef, exploding in a few feet of water. In the early morning, a golden mist shrouds the wave. A pod of dolphins lives in the area.

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