New Zealand is spoilt for choice when it comes to great surf beaches. With 10,000 kilometres of coast facing the big swells of the Pacific and Southern oceans New Zealand offers spectacular and world-renowned surf conditions. But you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the white stuff.
Big surfers riding big waves draw big crowds. Up to 15,000 people have watched World Series surf events from New Zealand’s surf beaches. Just watching the show is great entertainment.
The travel site newzealandholidaytravel.com listed its five top spots for serious surfers.
5 of the best places to surf in New Zealand
Raglan, Waikato, North Island
One of New Zealand’s most famous surf beaches. Raglan is a mecca for board riders throughout the world. The famous left-hander wave in Manu Bay can be ridden for 2km (that’s a 10-minute ride) and was featured in the 1966 cult surfing film Endless Summer. Whale Bay is also world famous, if anything for even more tasty waves. Raglan itself is laid back with many cafes and craft shops – and becomes a party town around new year.
Piha (30km west of Auckland)
The birthplace of surfing in New Zealand, Piha is also on the world surfing circuit. The surf is not for the faint-hearted but the beach and surrounding area are popular and worth a visit. A long-running reality TV show ‘Piha Rescue’ follows the working lives of Piha’s surf lifesavers and has been broadcast in many countries around the world
The Surf Highway, Taranaki
The North Island’s Taranaki Coast offers the most consistent and some say best surf conditions in New Zealand, with good, even breaks on many beaches. The so-called Surf Highway is a section of State Highway 45 that runs from New Plymouth to Hawera with access to all the best bays. The Taranaki Coast has played host to World Series surf competitions drawing big crowds to see the world’s finest surf heroes in action. Opunake beach (64km from New Plymouth) and Stent Road (37km from New Plymouth) are among the more famous.
Gisborne, East Coast, North Island
Gisborne enjoys a growing reputation in New Zealand as surf centre thanks to its warm climate and abundant surf schools. The main town surf beach, Waikanae, is ideal for beginners whilst the more accomplished enjoy the beaches at Wainui. Surfing at dawn has a particular appeal here as for most of the year Gisborne is the first town in the world to see the sun each day, being the closest to the International Date Line.
Mason Bay, Stewart Island
Travel to the southernmost extreme of New Zealand and be challenged by truly massive wave breaks. They unpredictable but when the sea delivers big waves, they are really big.
Source: New Zealand Holiday Travel