New Zealand Surf Beaches

New Zealand is spoilt for choice when it comes to great surf beaches. With 6,000 miles 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.

In New Zealand great surf means great beaches

More often than not the best New Zealand surf beaches are great beaches in their own right and worth a trip whether you can surf or not.

Enjoy the show

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.

For the serious surfer

There is a wide variety of surf conditions on offer on New Zealand's best surf beaches. Travelling from coast to coast in search of the best breaks is easy as travelling times are short.


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

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 Harewa 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 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.