Sunshine Coast surfer Mark Ovenden was found dead beside his motorbike.
Sunshine Coast surfer Mark Ovenden was found dead beside his motorbike. Contributed

Surfer's Bali death mystery

MYSTERY surrounds the death of a Sunshine Coast surfer found in bushes off a road in Bali after he had been missing for nearly two days.

Mark Ovenden, 34, of Alexandra Headland, went to Bali last Saturday for a two-week surfing trip with friends.

They did not see him after he left a massage on Tuesday saying he was going to pick up a surfboard.

Ovenden's body, dressed only in a pair of brown shorts, was found beside his motorbike on Thursday at 10.30am at Nusa Dua. His wallet containing 600,000 rupiah ($63), rings and a watch were still with him.

Police remain uncertain of the cause of death and are waiting on an autopsy report.

He had been staying at MasaInn, Poppies in Kuta on the other side of the Bukit Peninsula to where he was found.

Maroochydore surf school operator Grant Thomas, who has known Mark - nicknamed Kansas by his mates - since they attended primary school together at Woombye, described him as a "legend of a bloke".

"He was extreme," Grant said. "Whatever he did he did flat out. He was loyal, strong, super gentle and kind hearted.

"Mark held his own in big waves and was one of only a few out at Alex on the biggest day a couple of swells back. The police tried to stop him going back into the water after his leg rope broke, so he ran round to Mooloolaba and paddled from there."

The keen surfer had held several jobs since leaving Nambour High School including at the former Spagalinis at Mooloolaba, had filled shifts at Grant's surf school, done construction jobs and worked on fishing trawlers.

He was in the process of obtaining the tickets necessary to gain work on boats off the Western Australian coast.

"He loved the ocean, surf and boats," Grant said. "Mark worked to surf. He loved Indonesia.

"He'd been having a massage with his mates when he said he was going to pick up a board. They didn't see him again until they were asked to identify the body on Thursday."

Reports from Bali say Ovenden's travelling companion Damian Harington had told police he left the massage with a tall man, possibly a US citizen.

The body was discovered by a farmer who had been walking along a shrub-lined path when he came across what appeared to be an accident scene.

Ovenden was found beside his motorbikes and had several wounds including on his chest which appear to have been made by a blunt object.

Mark is survived by his sister, an anathetist at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital and his mother who lives in Brisbane after his father died two years ago after a battle with cancer.

He lived with mates from the Christian Surfers Association in a flat above Capones at Alexandra Headland.


Thanks for being a legend mate. Will miss u so much. We'll be having heaps of ribs in heaven. Love u mate. - Daniel Gettis

Kansas now you're free as a bird! May your gentle and warm soul rest in peace sweet boy! - Kate and Jamie Carvell

You always lived life to the fullest, continue on in your adventures mate. xxx - Sarah and Hilly

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