Surfing in New Zealand is overlooked far to often by the surf travel experts. New Zealand coastlines offer so much in the way of uncrowded surfing. In some of the least accessable places, finding someone to paddle out with can sometimes be a bit of a mission. It has a culture steeped in both Polynesian and European history and it celebrates the two two cultures like no other place on earth. Bring your surfboards and camera, and get prepared for some great waves in a great location.
Perfect surf and perfect waves
Surf travel from the far Northern tip of the northland area and the Whangarei area on the east coast to the Auckland region further south, where you'll find surf at Raglan, one of the worlds best left handers. Indicators, Whale and Manu. Indicators and Manu are world class, and Whale is a surfers delight with nice clean walls to show off your top to bottom style. The beach breaks can close out a bit, but when the conditions are right they provide good and solid surf and good clean waves.
Raglan is one of New Zealand's premier surfing places.
It consists of 3 left hand point breaks and 2 beach breaks.
Through Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Wellington and Wairarapa you will find every kind of wave known to mankind.
The swell is most consistent from September through November but there are great waves to be had all year round.
It's cold but if you've started on the North Island you'd be accustomed to it by now. The South Island is beautiful and full of other activities with its snow fields and glaciers, but if its the cold water surfing you want head to Mangamaunu. It's a perfect right hander and few fellow surfers.
There's always cheap airfares from the east coast of Australia to New Zealand, you can get a return ticket for around $400aus. Car hire is cheap and it has some great surf for the surf trip. Travel insurance is a must, and most NZ insurers will give you a quote online or over the phone .
New Zealand is an easy country to travel through. Surfing and tourism is encouraged so there are plenty of camping grounds and youth hostels. Most have washers and dryers which is really handy cause it rains a lot so it gives you the chance to keep some clothes clean. Bring a rain coat.
SURF BOARDS: Bring a short board, and one around 6 inches longer. So if you ride a 6ft surfboard at home bring that, as well as a 6ft6 all rounder surfboard. If you snap your surf board it's easy to buy a new or 2nd hand surfboard through the many surf and beach shops or the local papers or surfboard magazines. Or even try EBAY
WETSUIT: hood and booties if its winter and you are going to the South Island. It gets cold, steamers are great things. Throw in your spring suit if you are travelling in their summer.
Bring plenty of sun cream and protective clothing such as sunglasses, hats etc. Like a lot of Southern hemisphere countries the ozone layer here is thin. This means you burn fast.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards are an easy way to pay and are a lot safer than carrying loads of cash. Banks are plentiful and most have ATM machines.
Drivers license. Get an international drivers license for your surf travel before you leave home. That way you can book a car before you leave and your driving from the airport. In New Zealand they drive on the left hand side of the road. So if you come from a country like the United States it can take a bit of getting used to. Just take it easy and you'll soon get the hang of it. Like all major tourist surfing spots, opportunist thieves hang around the car parks. So make sure you don't just stick the key on top of tyre when you go for a surf, hide your valubles and never leave your surfboards or surfing equiptment in the car for a long time if its sunny. Surfboards warp.
Camera: some of the scenery you will come across is unbelievabley breath taking.