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1960-70s Phillip Island Vic surf trips by Steve Campbell and Bruce King

During the late 60s and early 70s many WA surfers made the long trip across the Nullarbor to surf good waves on Phillip Island in Victoria.

This is a collection of Phillip Island memories by WA surfers Steve ‘Horny’ Campbell and Bruce’ Lumpy’ King.

Image: 2017 Map of Phillip Island Vic courtesy of Google.

1. Horny’s Phillip Island surf trips

In the late 60s and early 70s I made numerous trips across the Nullarbor dirt track to Phillip Island.

On my first Phillip Island trip in 67/68, I travelled with George Scheffener, Peter Carter, John Fox and Ian ‘Prive’ Morris.

In 1972, I drove my yellow Kombi from WA to Phillip Island with my girlfriend.

We stayed in rental houses in Ventnor and Woolamai and I worked on the Phillip Island Shire ‘Shit Truck’.

These are some of my pics from the 1972 surf trip to Phillip Island.

1.1 South Australia on route to Phillip Island.

Photo: 1972 camping area at Cactus Beach at Penong, South Australia. Steve Campbell pic.

A couple of ex South Aust surfers (Crow boys) travelled from WA to Vic with us, but they stopped at Kennett River in Vic and didn’t want to go any further, apparently the Crow boys were not popular in Vic!

Photo: 1972 Horny (on the right) with Crow boys & unidentified girls in South Australia. Steve Campbell pic.

Photos: 1972 the Crow boys showed us some great surf spots in South Aust. Steve Campbell pics.

Photo: 1972 unidentified surf spot in South Aust.  Steve Campbell pic.

Photo: 1972 the 12 Apostles tourist attraction on Great Ocean Road Victoria. Steve Campbell pic.

I took this pic back when there were 12 Apostles, some have fallen in to the sea since then. There are good surf breaks nearby at Port Campbell.

1.2 Phillip Island.

Photos: 1972 Horny’s rental house at Woolamai. Steve Campbell pic.

Photos: 1972 Horny and house mates at Woolamai rental house. Steve Campbell pic.

L-R Ralph, Tim Thirsk, Ross, Horny & Pup.

Photo: 1972 Laurie ‘Pup’ Nesbit holding a snake he found in the Dunny at Woolamai rental house. Horny & Steve Pozzi are looking on. Steve Campbell pic.

Photo: 1972 Pup’s mate changing buckets in Woolamai dunny. Steve Campbell pic.

Photo: 1972 Cliff and Horny working on Phillip Island Shire ‘Shit Truck’. Steve Campbell pic.

If we had a good guy on the shit truck, he would let us take our surfboards in the back of the truck and go surfing during our breaks.

Photo: 1972 Pup at Woolamai suited up for his job on a local shark boat. Steve Campbell pic.

Photo: 1972 Steve Pozzi horse riding at Woolamai with Pup looking on. Steve Campbell pic.

Photo: 1972 Rental house at Ventnor on Phillip Island. Steve Campbell pic.

L-R Horny, Gail and Woppa (Vic girls) and Wendy Waite (Bunbury girl).

I thought I was real popular and had a lot of friends, then I discovered they only came to the house to try and get into the chick’s pants!

Photos: 1972 Horny’s rental house at Ventor. Steve Campbell pics.

Left: front of rental house

Right: interior of rental house L-R Jamie Doig, unidentified & Horny.

Photo: 1972 Right Point surf break on Phillip Island. Steve Campbell pic.

It is called Right Point, even though the wave is a left-hander. Further around the bay there is a right-hander called Flynn’s Reef. It was Murf’s signature surf break!

Photos: 1972 Murf and crew on Phillip Island. Steve Campbell pics.

Left: Murf and Jamie Doig with Vic girl and Wendy Waite from Bunbury.

Right: Murf, John Richie, Wendy Waite and Jamie Doig with John Richie’s Holden station wagon.

Photo: 1972 Horny’s yellow Kombi parked in the main street of Cowes on Phillip Island. Steve Campbell pic.

2. Bruce ‘Lumpy’ King Whisky a Go-Go surf trip

In 1968 I set off on an overland surf trip to the Eastern States with my City Beach Surf Riders Club mates Phil Henderson (19), Brian ‘Browneyes’ Brown (21) and Kevin ‘Mumbles’ Rumble (20). We travelled in a brightly painted FJ Holden promoting the Club’s sponsor Whisky-a Go-Go nightclub. As befitting four young blokes travelling in an orange coloured FJ Holden we got up to a fair bit of mischief.

Photo: Bruce King (19) with Whisky-A-Go-Go sponsored FJ Holden on Floreat groyne prior to departure in December 1968. Bruce King pic.

Coincidentally, we left Perth on the same day as competitors in the inaugural London to Sydney Marathon Car Rally. Spectators assumed we were part of the rally and cheered our sponsored FJ through Perth and WA country towns. The car broke down many times crossing the Nullarbor and we become quite proficient as a team at pulling it apart and putting it back together again.

We went on to surf good waves in South Australia and Victoria.

Images: 1968 Whisky-A-Go-Go sponsored FJ Holden. Snapshots ex CBSR Super 8 film.

While at Phillip Island (Vic) we re-painted the orange car a less conspicuous light blue colour with 4” brushes and house paint. As no masking tape was available, we painted the tyres and accessories too. The repaint come unstuck when a fresh afternoon breeze came up and coated the car in grass seeds, dirt and insects (very Harry Butler!).

After several more repairs on the trip from Phillip Island to Sydney, the FJ was nursed onto Ulladulla in NSW where it expired for the final time. We travelled onto Manly in Sydney and surfed up and down the East Coast before making our own way back to Perth.

Image: 1970 Denise Zanoni from Lorne Vic with Bruce King at Bells Beach for the World Surfing Titles. Image courtesy of Bruce King.

Click on this link to view 1960-70s Phillip Island Vic surf trips by Rod Slater, Mal Leckie and Steve Cockburn.

Coming soon 1966 First WA surf trip to Phillip Island by Craig Brent-White and Peter Dyson.

Long Live fun surf trips!

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  • Ross Newton

    Horny, I remember the yellow dunny truck, Len Wade was the driver back around 1974. My housemate Keith Delooze worked on it then.