Are you seeking magic, golden summer days on quiet sheltered beaches, washed by warm clear water?
Northland’s east coast is deeply indented with a thousand inlets, bays and sandy coves. When easterly winds assail the coast, long rhythmic swells roll in from the Pacific Ocean. This is New Zealand’s subtropical paradise extending from Auckland to North Cape and boasting over 60 surf beaches.
The immense variety of surf locations on this coast could easily have you cruising in the sun and enjoying fun waves all summer long. The coastal scenery is stunning – white sand bays landlocked by dramatic cliffs, which are draped with bright red pohutukawa blooms each December. Just sitting out there on the green water staring back at the coastline is a source of pleasure and wonderment.
This surfer’s playground is so extensive that it is possible to name only a select few of the best surf locations here. Pakiri Beach (32 kms north of Warkworth) has a good beach break that performs well around high tide in a 1.5 metre easterly swell. Visit the renowned marine reserve at Goat Island to surf, or snorkel, with big snapper and rock lobsters.
From Pakiri up to Bream Head the coast is relatively open and exposed to easterly winds. Te Arai Point (48 kms north of Warkworth) and the nearby ‘Forestry’ access have good beach breaks in east and north-east swells. Waipu Cove (8 kms south of Waipu) is at its best in moderate swells to 1.5 metres, breaking off the rocky headland or sandbars. Nearby Mangawai Heads has an interesting left-hand break peeling across the river bar.
From Bream Head to Cape Brett there are at least 16 popular surf beaches. Sandy Bay (32 kms north of Whangarei) is notable as the prime hot spot. Also check out the left-hand bar break at Whananaki inlet.
From Cape Brett to Cape Karikari there are 20 beach breaks and some outstanding reef breaks such as Taronui Bay (14 kms north of Kerikeri). Good beach breaks in a large swell can be found at the beach resorts of Matauri, Tauranga and Taupo Bays.