If you’re looking for a great place to travel and surf, New Zealand is definitely the place to visit. We are blessed with an incredible coastline with a myriad of beaches and surf breaks to choose from.
So where are the top surf spots in New Zealand? Well the best beach breaks can be located on the North Island, while some of the best reef breaks are found in the country’s South. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there’s sure to be a spot in New Zealand that will fit your needs.
We may as well start with the best of the best, because, well, we’re super biased! Te Arai is a small town located on the north island of New Zealand and our very own home break. It is known throughout New Zealand and the world for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. The town has a population of just over 1,000 people, making it the perfect escape for those looking for some quiet and relaxation. Te Arai offers some fantastic surf breaks along its vast stretch of beach that boast consistent, fun waves all year-round. Perfect for beginners, the waves very rarely get too big. It’s no wonder this beach is a favourite among locals and visitors alike! Not sure where to begin with surfing? No worries visit us down on Te Arai Beach for a 2 Hour Lesson or Private Lesson!
Raglan is one of New Zealand’s most famous surfing towns and is located on the North Island, offering some of the country’s best surf spots. The town has a long history as a surfing destination and attracts visitors from all over the world. The town also has a super friendly community, making it an ideal place to learn and improve your surfing skills. Ngarunui Beach is one of the most popular surf spots for beginners, with easy, fun to ride waves and great conditions all year round. There are however a myriad of other breaks throughout Raglan such as Whale Bay, Ruapuke, Indicators and Manu Bay, for those with more experience / seeking a bit more of a thrill. The best part is after a chilly dip in the ocean you can go to the local town. Experience their famous coffee culture at one of the many cafes including local favourite Raglan Roast!
Kaikoura is a beautiful surfing town located on the south island of New Zealand. It’s known for its perfect waves, with plenty of variety as well as it’s excellent surfers. Generally offering breaks that break over a boulder bottom, many of these breaks are not for beginners. But instead should be surfed by those with intermediate to expert skill. Some of the area’s more popular breaks include Ward Beach, Kekerengu, Clarence Point, Mangamanu, Meatworks and Kahutara for intermediate + and Oaro, Gooch’s Beach and Okiwi Bay for beginners. Kaikoura is also home to the world’s second-largest coral reef, which makes for an interesting dive location.
Muriwai is a beautiful surfing town located on the north island of New Zealand. The town has a long history of surfing and is home to some super fun waves. However can tend to get a little crowded, particularly in the warmer months. The waves here are long and smooth, and best surfed when it is around 2-4ft. Best suited to smaller swells as larger swells mean close-outs. Visitors can find plenty of accommodation options in Muriwai, making it a great place to stay while exploring the area.
Bay Of Plenty
The Bay Of Plenty is located on the North Island of New Zealand. Just as its name suggests, it offers plenty of breaks to explore. Some of it’s more popular breaks include Arataki; a beach break with plenty of peaks to share. Newdicks; a private beach at which you have to pay a small fee and must be of intermediate to expert level surfer. Whakatane Heads and Motu River; both of which are for intermediate level surfers but offer a super fun wave. And finally Mount Maunganui; a typical Each Coast beach with some super fun beginner – intermediate waves. While you are there why not wake up for a sunrise walk up the spectacular Mount Maunganui (view pictured below).
Kahurangi Point is a hidden gem among New Zealand’s surf spots and is only accessible by boat or kayak. This secluded spot offers some of the best waves in the country, and because it’s less crowded than other beaches due to its remote access, you’ll have plenty of space to catch some waves.
Tauranga is located on the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. Known for its beautiful coastline and consistent, small waves. The break is an exposed beach break that offers lefts and rights. Best with a windswell from the north east on low tide. The best part about Tauranga is that even when there are some waves, it’s not likely to be too crowded.
Mangawhai is a world-renowned surf spot located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Perfect for surfing and is known for its world-class surfing. The waves here are some of the most consistent in the world. Making it a great spot for beginners and experienced surfers alike. Mangawhai also offers plenty of other activities, such as hiking, kayaking, and fishing. There are plenty of other activities to enjoy in this area, making it one of the best places in New Zealand to spend a vacation. Keen on getting the kids involved in a new and fun hobby out on the water? Well Aotearoa Surf has you covered with many of their kids surfing programmes that run at Mangawhai Beach!
So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there’s a spot for you on this list. From iconic and well-known spots like Te Arai and Mangawhai to lesser-known gems like Puponga Beach and Opua Bay. These are all incredible places to catch some waves. If you’re looking for some inspiration, feel free to give us a buzz (09 431 5760) or visit us in store . We can let you know all the best spots to visit based on the conditions at the time as well as your experience level!