best surfing spots new zealand

Surfing New Zealands South Island

A Surfing Paradise for the adventurous

Surfing New Zealands South Island is a freezing yet satisfying experience for adventurous people. New Zealand has a huge surf culture that encourages even the locals to seek out the best surf spots in New Zealand South Island searching for the next perfect wave. With that being said, there are lots of locations to surf in the South Island!

The South Island of New Zealand has many different environments to surf in compared to the North Island. As an example, some of South Islands best surf beaches can be found on the front door of the larger cities to remote places a 3-day’s walk from anywhere! You are guaranteed to have a truly unique surf experience. There are plenty of surf school’s around the country excited to share their love for the sea with other backpackers and travellers if you’re a novice.

A tale of two coasts

Lots of people would certainly claim that the very best feature of surfing New Zealands South Island is the fact that you can cross from the eastern to western coasts in simply a matter of several hours, and also yet still witness an amazing range of various landscapes at the same time. It likewise has a little of nearly every beautiful landscape the planet offers, reminding, sometimes, of the Australian Southern Coasts as well as the California Central Shore, and the Andes Mountains, sometimes all on the very same day. It’s rugged, it’s pristine, and best of all its empty. And guess what? it has surf.

The true surf adventure - surfing New Zealands South Island

There are many waves going unridden due to the lack of people surfing New Zealands South Island. For a surfer, the bi-coastal alternatives increase access to virtually any swell or offshore wind. In spite of being a little bit of a cliché, such a dream is attainable in the South Island, and together with the island’s changeable weather conditions, unbelievable wildness, (mostly) rural structure of life, and also the raw appeal of its shoreline, it really evokes the spirit of a surf experience.

“Also when the surf wasn’t excellent it really did not matter much– it was one of the most wildly beautiful and also empty locations I’ve ever seen,” Ruby said. “We fished and hiked when the surf was no good the whole time we were there. Apart from the friendly locals, we saw a few backpackers and also a handful of anglers, however that was it.”

surfing south island new zealand

Around Kaikoura

One can drive along the shore, examine the surf at Mangamaunu, Meatworks, Kaikoura, and also Oamaru. If things look are looking good, pull over for a session in the chilly South Pacific. Out of the above mentioned areas, the boulder-bottomed Meatworks is typically one of the most consistent options. It’s quickly reachable by turning off after Mangamaunu. This wave is short and goes both right and also left. Considering that it’s so near the touristic town of Kaikoura, it’s usually crowded. Still, even with a great deal of individuals in the water, you can still admire the surrounding snow-capped peaks while waiting on your next wave. On the rare chance this region is flat, try a whale watching and coastal train tour. Its epic!

Christchurch and beyond - endless surfing possibilities ​

Around the regions of Christchurch and also Timaru, there is a range of surf areas. Places like peak-laden beach break of New Brighton, to the long, right-hand point-break of Jack’s Point just south of Timaru are some of the best places for surfing New Zealands South Island. These are great alternatives for those that desire to squeeze in a session between drives. Yet these places don’t actually offer much of the South Island wildness one would certainly anticipate.

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Otago Region

Upon going into the Otago area, things start getting much more interesting, both in and out of the water. With a strong Scottish and also Maori heritage, Dunedin is among the very best surf spots New Zealand. Despite having the cold water temperature levels there is a strong local surf scene. Many of these surfers are students. Just before going into the city it is worth taking a look at the spot of Aramoana. This place can be tricky to discover yet if the swell is pumping from the NE it will certainly produce some top quality, hollow peaks.

surfing new zealands south island

Dunedins Pristine Surfing Coastline

Two suburbs of Dunedin, St. Kilda as well as St. Clair, share one lengthy stretch of sandy beach facing south. They are some of the best surf spots New Zealand. St. Kilda can hold a workable beach break, something to offer the locals and travelling surfers. St. Clair beach has the beauty of a right-hand point added to its likewise primarily beach-break attributes. Both places work best on a southerly swell, with the wind blowing from the NW. There’s a substantial tidal array here, which normally influences smaller sized days.

As soon as you head out of Dunedin southbound, the road rejoins the coast and also sticks to it for a good 20km before turning back to Highway 1. The community of Brighton features a break with the exact same name, which is worth checking out if the swell has any south to it as it’s simply off the highway. This right-hand point peels along a tiny peninsula and also can create long, enjoyable walls on a good day. Actually, despite the fact that only a 20-minute drive from Dunedin, it is rarely crowded.

The Catlins Coast - New Zealands South Island

In spite of having a plenty to offer a visiting surfer, Dunedin and all other regions along the east coastline of the South Island for that matter might seem too inhabited to tick all of the boxes for surfing New Zealands South Island. That’s not the case with the Catlins. Joining the regions of Southland and Otago, this location is a Conservation Park, with good cause. Here you can score uncrowded waves, make beach fires, and sleep out under the stars. Needless to say, you will need a vehicle in order to discover this area to its full potential. We hired our van with Europcar, they were the cheapest option and so easy to pick up and drop off at the airports of Christchurch and Auckland.

best surfing spots new zealand

PK Bay (Purakaunui Bay)

Of the many spots offered while surfing New Zealands South Island, PK Bay sets the benchmark of a true surfing adventure: it’s chilly, raw, unpredictable and yet, incredibly gorgeous. Its one of the best surf spots New Zealand has to offer. You can reach here quite easily if you follow signs just out of Owaka. There is no drinking water here so bring some supplies with you. This bay has a lengthy sandbank that generates different peaks between its cliffs.  Depending on the conditions, the northern section can offer the cleanest lines under the shade of a towering high cliff. The wave itself has that mirage feel: it looks pleasant as well as small from the outside but actually packs rather a punch when you reach it. Besides that, you can expect clean rides with terrific chances of obtaining barrels because the sets can be quite hollow.

Book that ticket!

When a person points out surfing New Zealands South Island, it generally consists of reference to two things. Its amazing all-natural beauty and just how miserable the weather can be. Despite any kind of all-natural challenges that this raw part of the globe might offer, there are many comforts to make travel easy. For example, the top quality of the roads, really good beer and electricity while traveling. Not to mention the well organized camping centers, and also good cost-benefits (given that you can reduce accommodation expenses by renting a camper van). Theres no reason for you to not think twice before purchasing that aircraft ticket.

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