|Experience level:||Intermediate, Advanced|
|Time of year:||Jan, Feb, March, April, May, Jun, July, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec|
|Group type:||Remote Uncrowded Waves, Intermediate Waves, Group Surf Trips - Resorts, Villas & Surf Camps|
|Board type:||All types|
New Zealand is exposed to consistent swell from the south west, south east, north and east directions which provide an array of world class waves in the North and South Island. Depending on the swell forecast on your arrival into New Zealand, the team at NZ Surfing Adventures will assess the conditions to score you the best waves on offer during your stay. They have an experienced team of surf forecasters and using their knowledge and experience of New Zealand weather systems and wave locations, they can ensure you have the best experience possible during your stay.
New Zealand is a real surfers paradise with a huge coastline to explore offering numerous secret spots, and vast areas of wilderness where you’ll find beaches with nobody else in the water. The surfing near the main urban areas and the more famous spots such as Raglan and Piha can have crowds. New Zealand has two very different coastlines the West Coast and East Coast, each having their own different characteristics. The West is reputed to be rough and wild, the East calmer and more picturesque, however Piha can produce pristine clean surf and Gisborne is renowned for powerful heavy waves.
New Zealand has quality surf year round, however, there is a large difference between the seasons. During the summer months New Zealand experiences calmer conditions with predominant north easterly weather creating consistent north-east swell for the north-east coast and smaller offshore clean conditions for the west coast. Between the months of December through April, New Zealand also receives tropical storms from the Pacific producing epic cyclone swell lighting up many areas that lay dormant for the majority of the year. Winter is a different proposition alltogether, where huge southerly storms in Antarctica produce large long period ground swells that wrap into protected points and reefs along both east and west coasts.
New Zealand experiences a temperate climate in the south island and is sub-tropical in the North Island and the nature of the terrain, the prevailing winds and the length of the country lead to sharp regional contrasts. Temperatures can vary greatly with daytime temperatures sometimes reaching 30°C and to falling below 0°C in the evenings. In general, rainfall and humidity is higher on the west coast of the country due to the north-south orientation of the mountain ranges and the prevailing westerly winds.
Lying in the windy Roaring Forties, exposed regions of the country get blustery.
Nick Towner: After wrapping up his PhD which investigated the sustainable development of surf tourism in the Mentawai Islands, Nick needed a new focus in life so put his energy into setting up a lifestyle business venture. NZ Surfing Adventures is really a combination of Nick’s passion for surf adventure around the globe and as well as in NZ and his educational background in surf tourism. Nick has over 15 years experience in surf travel between both the North and South Islands meaning that you will always be scoring pumping uncrowded waves on New Zealand’s vast coastline. Nick’s intimate knowledge of both surf and weather conditions alongside his qualifications in surf instruction make him the perfect person to guide you on your adventure in beautiful New Zealand.
The winterless north as it’s more commonly known is the ultimate surf destination offering New Zealand’s warmest and most humid climate, where boardshorts can easily be worn throughout the summer months. With the east and west coasts being only 15 minutes apart, you double your chances of scoring waves. If the Pacific coast is flat and onshore, jump in the truck and no doubt there will be offshore waves on the Tasman coast.
A 50-minute drive from Auckland international airport is Auckland’s west coast, a beautiful rugged coastline that offers consistent quality and often very hollow beach breaks. Winter brings constant south west storms that can last for a week, while summer offers smaller cleaner offshore conditions. Lion Rock offers left and right options with backwash vectors from the rocks creating interesting scenarios. Some great beach breaks on the right day to the north of Lion Rock right up the beach. Best at around 3-6 ft.
Is a sleepy coastal town home to three excellent left hand point break that peel mechanically over volcanic reef and boulders. Raglan is remarkably consistent with a large headland allowing large southwest swells to wrap 90 degrees and is offshore in the prevailing south westerly winds.
New Zealands most famous surfing destination, home to high quality powerful hollow waves. Gisborne is extremely consistent coping the full brunt of both southerly, easterly and northerly swells. Due to its remote location and relaxed atmosphere there is opportunity to score pumping waves with only a few local crew out. Gisborne is a great launching point for your surf adventure being the gateway to both the isolated Eastcape and fabled Mahia.
Taranaki is one of New Zealand’s better known surf spots due to its consistency and large range of breaks including reefs, bars, points and beachies. Taranaki has a swell window of almost 180 degrees so there is always a chance of finding somewhere uncrowded that’s pumping and offshore.
Kaikoura is famous for its whale watching, spectacular snow capped mountains and epic right-hand point breaks. Kaikoura’s waves are intensified by deep ocean trenches and tidal upwellings. The majority of the surf breaks are located in a small geographic area and features its own micro climate in winter where mountains funnel down light offshore winds creating amazing glassy conditions uncommon in New Zealand. The water here can get cold so be sure to have a quality steamer and all the rubber accessories. A couple of national compititions are held here every year. The main breaks here are Mangamanu and Meatworks.
Dunedin is one of New Zealand’s finest areas for surfing and one of the least populated. Home to an amazing range of beaches, bars, points and reefs, if you’re keen to adventure there’s definitely something for everyone. Here marine life and cold temperatures add another dimension to your surf with snow often down to the water line and abundant seals, dolphins and the occasional shark. Be prepared to wear a lot of rubber as Dunedin gets cold but the reward is tenfold.
NZ’s premier big wave location. Not for the faint hearted, needs about 10ft+ to break and big, raw southerly swells from Antarctica bring freezing waters.
Located on the south western side of the south island, Fiordland is one of the most isolated parts of New Zealand, providing surfers with a feeling of remote wilderness experienced in few places around the globe. Southwest New Zealand is home to snow-capped mountains, rivers of ice, deep lakes, unbroken forests and tussock grasslands producing a landscape of exceptional beauty. There is never a shortage of swell in Fiordland with large south swells wrapping into the numerous point and reef breaks, while smaller west swells being ideal for the beachies or river mouths. The main surfing area in Fiordland is Big Bay aptly named for being a large bay open to large swell window and able to handle winds from a variety of directions. The main break is ‘Orchards’ a grunty A-frame reef that handles almost any swell, further north are a variety of reef and points while to the south there are sucky beachies and an extermely hollow river mouth.
All of the New Zealand Surfing Adventures are 100% customised to what you want, which determines the type of waves and amount of travel involved. Ultimately, the direction of the surf trip is governed by the weather and the swell.
Base camp is at Piha Beach 50 minutes from Auckland International airport situated a 5-minute walk to one of the most consistent beach breaks in the world. The Piha eco-surf lodge is a refurbished simple but clean house with several sleep-outs situated in a pristine natural bush setting. Bedrooms and sleep-outs have shared bathrooms with hot water.
Shared kitchen and lounge area has cable TV and DVD as well as WI-FI internet. You can cruise down to the large garden pick some vegetables for the salad, get the organic chicken eggs and stroll backup to the lodge listening to the sound of beautiful native bird song.
All other accommodation options booked in advance will be of high quality. There will be several exceptions due to remote locations of some of the surf breaks, in this situation your guides will always try for the best option. In remote areas one or two days may be spent in tents due to the geographic isolation, however all arrangements will be made to ensure you have a comfortable and pleasant sleep.
There is no set menu on the surf adventures and the food is generally customised to the clients wishes. They try and keep meals comprised of fresh naturally grown produce full of both carbohydrates and protein to get you through a massive day of surfing.
Snow and Surf Options
New Zealand has some of the best and most accessible mountain resorts in the world and during the winter months it is easy in such areas as Taranaki, Kaikoura and Canterbury to surf and snowboard in the same day. Otherwise a full day of snowboarding at Mt Ruapehu in the North Island or Mt Hutt in the South Island can offer a great alternative if conditions are looking unfavorable.
Access into Fiordland can either be via boat, heli or plane depending on tides, weather conditions and group size. Access into Big Bay, Fiordland costs extra, approximately $300 per person return - you will be boated or helied into NZ's most remote and possibly finest surfing area.
Surf and Snow tours – New Zealand is one of the only places in the world where you can surf and ski/snowboard in the same day. At NZ Surf Adventures they offer complete surf and snow packages where you will be guided with experienced and professional snow guides through the mountains in the Central North Island, Canterbury and Southern lakes region. Surf and snow packages are offered from late June to early October.
Scuba, free diving and fishing - Northland is home to the best free diving, scuba and fishing New Zealand has to offer. The guides at NZ Surf Adventures are experienced free divers and fisherman with an extensive knowledge of the diving/fishing areas on the coast. We offer land-based fishing adventures at your request and an introduction to spearfishing/free diving for the beginner and experienced free diver. Boat fishing charters targeting marlin and other big game fish and scuba diving trips can be organized depending on the client’s preference are available at an extra cost.
Wine tasting and winery tours – Northland is where the first grapes were planted in New Zealand. There are top wineries and restaurants near Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Russell, Whangarei and Matakana which provide the ideal atmosphere to fully appreciate the regions wine and food.
Family orientated – Northland is an ideal place to bring your family along for the adventure. The surf locations we target can generally accommodate all levels from the beginner to the advanced surfer. The shape of the Northern coastline means that there are a variety of surf options and NZSA can accommodate beginner surfers while maintaining a world class standard of waves for our experienced guests. Land-based fishing is an awesome way to introduce children to an unforgettable fishing experience and we can offer the ultimate surf/fish adventure packages for the entire family.
Stand up paddle surfing- Northland’s east coast is home to numerous protected beaches and river bars creating long peeling clean walls which are perfect for the SUP. If the west coast has swell stand up paddlers can try and get the longest wave of their lives at one of the seven legendary sand bottom point breaks.
Wine tasting and winery tours - The fertile plains and sunny climate create the ideal environment for growing and making world-class wine. With high sunshine hours, fertile clay loam soils and some of the most acclaimed winemakers in the country, Gisborne is famous for producing exceptional Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Malbec. A visit to local wineries after a long day of surfing is a relaxing way to round off an amazing day in Gisborne. Hawks bay is a short drive from Mahia and Gisborne and is home to the world famous New Zealand Syrah, Shiraz and Merlot varieties’ and is well worth a visit if you consider yourself a wine lover.
Fishing -The East Cape area is home to many types of fish including marlin, southern yellowtail (kingfish), groper, snapper, tarakihi, bluenose and tuna. Mid to late summer (February / March are best) is the ideal time to go after game fish. Trout fishing in clear streams and lakes surrounded by native bush is also on offer in the East Cape. A stop off at one of the many productive rivers or streams can make an ideal break to a day’s surfing. Just ask one of the NZSA team to point you in the direction of a secret fishing spot and you will be hooked up in no time.
Maori Culture – Gisborne is one of the centers of Maori culture in New Zealand where their people’s magnificent sprit and traditions have been well preserved. NZSA can organize opportunities to get involved in local cultural activities where you can expect to be emotionally stirred. Performances are fun, educational, entertaining and an experience for people of all ages.
Seafood - Your New Zealand culinary experience wouldn’t be complete without getting amongst some of Marlborough’s bountiful seafood. There are lots of fresh delicacies to try. Local specialties include grouper, cod, mussels, paua (abalone) and of course the town’s namesake – crayfish (lobster). If you want to gather it yourself the NZSA boys know where to dive on the coast, so after surf, seafood can be collected and prepared for feast later that night.
Whale Watching -Off the coastline is a marine environment rich in nutrients attracting giant sperm whales, which can be seen all year round making Marlborough one of the most popular whale watching locations in the world. In addition to the sperm whale a number of different species of may also be seen including dolphins, seals and a wide variety of sea birds including the Royal Albatross.
Dolphin Swimming – Swimming with dolphins is like no other in the world - you don’t swim with several dolphins but in pods of up to several hundred strong. This open ocean experience is unforgettable!
The package options
The Searcher – This Glamping (glamorous camping) package is for the keen surfer who’s less worried about 5 star accommodations and more concerned about the waves. The team at NZ surf adventures has a full outdoor camping set up, outdoor furniture, large communal outdoor tent, portable cooking facilities (bbq, gas cookers). Your meals will not be compromised as they have epic portable cooking equipment and butterfly lamb roast, spare ribs and any other food you can imagine can be provided with this package. They provide full mattresses and bedding (excluding pillow) and all camping equipment. This option allows you to camp at the more isolated spots in NZ and you will wake up right in front of the surf. Where possible, they will provide fires to keep you warm after those long winter sessions and espresso coffees, hot chocolates and even mulled red wine to keep you toasty throughout the night. The NZ climate and the winter camping equipment mean that this option is available all year round; however when wet you will be accommodated indoors - local accommodation with optional private rooms with communal cooking facilities. NZ is a super safe country to camp in, crime in campgrounds is very rare and in addition their car and trailer is secure and lockable to store valuables in.
Classic – The Classic package is also a fully catered surf tour with your surf guide as your chaperone for your every need just at a lower cost than the deluxe package. You will receive the same 1st class service and meals as the deluxe package, the only difference is the accommodation is usually in boutique bead and breakfasts and modern apartments. Optional extras from the deluxe package can be purchased and customized to your preferences.
Deluxe - The luxury package is not just a surf tour – it is a fully catered surf trip with a surf guide as your chaperone for every need. They provide first class meals with first class service and first class accommodation to ensure that you relax and enjoy your holiday and maximize your time in NZ. The only thing you need to worry about is which adventure to choose first. All accommodation on the deluxe trip is safe and secure and a standard of 4-star hotels and modern fully furnished apartments are used during your stay. Wireless internet access and Sky (cable) television is provided at these locations. Professional photo packages are included in the deluxe package to give you something to take away from NZ and remember the awesome time you had. Surf/snow instruction and feedback is included if required, to ensure you are getting the most out of the trip and progressing with your surfing and snowboarding. The surf guides will literally take care of everything from drying your wetsuit to serving you NZ roast lamb and pouring your wine. The deluxe package includes gourmet menu options (breakfast, lunch and dinner) which can be chosen prior to arrival.
Disclaimer - This surf trip is an independent surf operator and is not part of or in partnership with The Perfect Wave Travel Co. The Perfect Wave acts as an agent only. We sell various travel related products on behalf of numerous transport, accommodation and other service providers, such as airlines, land based accommodation and boat charter operators. The Perfect Waves obligation is to make travel bookings on your behalf and to arrange relevant contracts between you and travel service providers. The Perfect Wave has no esponsibility for these services nor do we make or give any warranty of representation regarding their standards. All bookings are made subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by these service providers.
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