Our compact Capital City has a dramatic, windswept coastline jutting out into Cook Strait, which attracts all the wildest elements of weather and sea conditions. The changeable conditions mean that there are limited surfing challenges around Wellington.
The proud Scottish heritage of Dunedin city points to the hardy breed of pioneers who worked the land and triumphed over adversity. Today rugged, slow-talking, ‘Southern Man’ types show similar fortitude in conquering ‘giant-killer’ surf breaks in the deep south.
Do you want the ultimate challenge of huge energised groundswells, powerful waves, and big barrels trundling up steep shingle fan beaches? There are heaps of unridden big wave ‘dragons’ to slay over the hill from Wellington in the Wairarapa region.
The relatively isolated south-east coast of the South Island is still largely undiscovered in surfing terms. If you harbour a desire for exploration of new and exciting surfing hot spots there’s heaps of potential reef breaks along this coast.
Turn off the Napier-Gisborne highway at Nuhaka if you want to experience the challenge of remote wilderness surfing. Mahia is one of the east coast ‘hidden treasures’ with big barrelling waves assaulting both sides of the triangular peninsula in heavy swells.
o get amongst some of the best surf on New Zealand’s east coast you will need to go overseas - that is by plane or fast ferry to 'The Barrier'. This eastern bulwark protects the Hauraki Gulf and is a haven for outdoor lovers and alternative lifestylers.
You’ll be seriously stoked with the neat waves and the party atmosphere on Coromandel’s east coast beaches. This is ‘must-see’ country for any ‘surfari’ tour of the North Island, especially its acclaimed ‘Capital’ Whangamata.
The City of Sails is spoiled for choice surf locations, with two coasts and several northern beaches just an hours drive from downtown. Big city surfers, from the greenest grommets to the craziest enchiladas, head west, to ride every wild, whipped-up wave from Whatipu to Muriwai.
Head north in search of New Zealand’s sensational surf and discover the wild, desolate black sand beaches of the ‘Winterless North’. Get amongst the big west coast swells powering in from the Tasman Sea - endless lines of rollers stacked to the horizon.
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