New Zealand is a located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, both of its two islands have a variety of interesting terrains and landscapes and are scattered with volcanoes and glaciation. It is known globally as the capital for extreme sports, attracting adrenaline junkies for its many extreme activities all year round, and with the stunning backdrop of outstanding natural beauty, it’s no surprise.
There’s a wave for every level of surfer if you look for it, just be prepared with the right attire for the season. New Zealand’s micro-climates can mean both bitterly cold and milder waters depending on location, not to mention the different terrains you’ll find at the bottom of the ocean so booties can sometimes be essential.
Surfing in New Zealand is best all year round thanks to its advantageous geographic location, it benefits from swells coming from almost every direction; the south west, south east, north and east directions. Its unique conditions offer great quality surf, and plenty of beaches to choose along its 15,000 km of coastline, meaning enough space for every surfer to catch their own wave. Prepare your board, warm up your car engine and read on for a road trip along the best surf locations in New Zealand.
Raglan (Manu Bay), West Coast Auckland
Also known as The Point, Manu Bay is situated 6km away from Raglan, a coastal town in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. Expect waves of 16ft and above which are the hollowest at mid to low tide. Known for hosting world class surfing competitions, you’ll be riding the waves of legends.
Wainui Beach, Gisborne, East Cape
East Cape is the easternmost point of the main islands of New Zealand, producing left and right-hand waves of 6ft and above that come in fast and powerful. This beach is a great surf spot in all tides but beware of the currents here as they are sometimes very dangerous.
Kumera Patch, West Coast Tanaraki
The views from mountainous Kumera Patch by Tanaraki will take your breath away as you ride the waves in the North Island’s western surf spot. These 10ft and over, left-handed waves can be a bit tricky to master so this one is for the more advanced surfers.
Stent Road, West Coast Tanaraki
Close to Mount Tanaraki, Stent road is deemed as one of New Zealand’s top surf spots. With its popularity also comes crowds of local and out of town surfers, making it sometimes hard to catch a wave. It’s a big right-hand point break along a stony, rocky shore producing 12ft waves.
Mt Maunganui, Coromandel
Mount Manguanui sits just beneath the extinct volcano of the same name, located on the Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island of New Zealand, which is itself a relaxed beach town. Producing left and right-hand waves of up to 8ft, this is crowded surf spot on the weekends so best to go during the week.