Don’t miss the hottest surfing mecca in this part of the planet, which is based on the laid-back town of Raglan (48 kms west of Hamilton).
If you want to share some great camaraderie and have awesome fun on the water, head for the surf breaks south of Raglan, which virtually guarantee nice lines and perfect peelers.
Enter surfer heaven at Manu Bay (8 kms from Raglan) where you can indulge yourself in a dance of joy atop a world-renowned left-hand break. The word on the street is that Manu Bay has the longest, most accessible and consistent left-hand break in the world. Catch a perfect wave and you can cruise like master shapers and cool dudes for up to 2 kms or ten minutes – what a buzz. Manu Bay (also known as The Point) was featured in the 1966 cult surfing movie ‘Endless Summer’.
For more tasty waves head to Whale Bay, 2 kms further west. This bay has a Maori tradition as a healing place where fatigued warriors came to heal the body and soul. Today Whale Bay is a sanctuary for surfers seeking both relaxation and excitement, a special haven for lovers of the hollow wave.
Whale Bay is distinguished by an excellent left point break, which performs well on all tides. Entry can be off an exposed rock shelf or out The Valley further west. Either way it involves some serious paddling over to the line up.
Just 1 km off Whale Bay is a superlative razor-edged left-hand point break called Indicators, which includes The Valley as its inside section. This area is very exposed and produces the largest waves, which barrel down the long boulder point for some 300 metres before entering The Valley, providing dream-length rides.
While all the Raglan surf is consistent in turning up long, smooth joyrides, the rocky ledges and reefs command respect and make duck-diving ability essential – this is not grommet territory.
Ruapuke (60 kms from Hamilton) can be surfed on any tide off the north headland. This place is worth checking out if Raglan is too low for a sweet ride. Also Sunset Beach at Port Waikato (32 km south of Tuakau) can be enjoyable in big, clean swell conditions.