North Island New Zealand
Surf Spots & Information

The North Island of New Zealand is 113,729 square km
in area, making it the world's 14th largest island. It has a
population of 3 million. Several important cities are on the
North Island, notably New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, and Wellington, the capital, located at the southern extremity of the island. Approximately 76% of New Zealand's population lives on the North Island.

According to Māori mythology, the North and South Islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demigod Māui. Māui and his brothers were fishing from their canoe (the South Island) when he caught a great fish and pulled it from the sea. While he was not looking, his brothers fought over the fish and chopped it up. This great fish became the North Island, and thus the Māori name for the North Island is Te Ika-a-Māui (The Fish of Māui). The mountains and valleys are said to have been formed as a result of Māui's brothers hacking at the fish.

The North Island has warm temperatures in summer from December to March and wetsuits are not usually needed. The South Island waters are colder and generally call for wetsuit protection.

The choice of surf breaks is vast - from clean barrels peeling onto pure white, sandy beaches on the east coast, to gnarly freight train sets pounding rugged west coast beaches. There are ‘super tubes’ with 1-km-long joy rides at Ahipara and plenty of consistent surf at Raglan. You can experience big waves that are longboard at Murderer’s Bay in Dunedin, as well as clean tubes at Gisborne.

North Island is a real surfer’s paradise. The surfing near the main urban areas can get a bit crowded; similarly, the more famous spots such as Raglan and Piha can have crowds and it's best to explore away from crowded beaches and spots.

Find a surf school on the North Island of New Zealand.

North Island Surf Breaks

 

Piha

Surf Location South Piha car park, look for the giant rock that separates the two beaches
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide Any tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Good beach break that breaks consistently
The Surfers Crowded
Boards Longboard, shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Expert
Bottom Sandy with rocks
Watch Out For... Rocks, sharks
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

Mount Main Beach

Surf Location City of Mt. Mauganue on the east coast
Best Swell Direction North, Northeast
Best Tide Mid and High
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Summer and Fall
Wave Quality Beach break and man made reef that spits a hollow little tube
The Surfers Crowded
Boards Longboard, shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner
Bottom Sandy
Watch Out For... Other surfers, sharks
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

Shipwreck Bay

Surf Location 2 hours outside of Auckland, it lays at the southernmost point of Ninety Mile Beach in the city of Ahipara
Best Swell Direction Southeast, East
Best Tide Mid to High
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Left-breaking point break that breaks with frequency
The Surfers Crowd is not too bad
Boards Longboard, shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult
Skill Level Intermediate to Expert
Bottom Sand and rock
Watch Out For... Sharks, rips
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

Raglan

Surf Location Head to Raglan and you will find the world-famous point break
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction Southeast, East
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Hollow, powerful left point break. The best-known break in the country, and one of the world’s best waves!
The Surfers Good surfers are on this wave frequently. Expect crowds when there is a good swell.
Boards Longboard, shortboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Expert
Bottom Rocks
Watch Out For... Rocks, locals
Water Condition Clean and clear
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