They might be hosting the 100% Pure Winter Games in 2011 but there are other attractions (PureNewZealand) to keep those winter sportsmen on a high throughout their visit to New Zealand…
6,000 kms of coastline and easily accessible beaches, points, reefs and bar breaks – that’s impressive for two such small islands! Wherever you are in the country there is bound to be a good break nearby and because New Zealand is such a long island, you can easily scoot across from one side to the other trying out the left and right hand breakers. All you have to do is stay tuned in to the local weather station and you’ll be able to tell which coast has the right swell.
The main source of swell for both North and South Island is from the low pressure systems of the roaring forties but New Zealand is fortunate to pick up swell from just about anywhere. Waves can be generated from the south, the west from the Tasman Sea, north from cyclone systems and east from depressions.
It’s a surfers paradise (networxnz) and with that much coastline the waves and beaches are seldom crowded.
And the variety of surf breaks is simply awesome – from clean barrels rolling onto pure white sand beaches on the east coast, to gnarly freight train sets pounding rugged west coast beaches. Check out the ‘supertubes’ with one kilometre long joy rides at Ahipara and the consistently perfect peelers at the hottest surf spot ever, Raglan – a superb left hand point that seems to go on forever and can be found on North Island half way down the west coast. Experience giant steamrollers and Malibu-style wave sets at Murderer’s Bay in Dunedin, as well as velvet-smooth tunnels at Gisborne. If you don’t want to do much driving head for Taranaki Peninsular. Here you’ll find loads of great waves and you can find the ideal wind conditions just by driving around the coast road – Surf Highway 45.
The North Island is a little warmer than South Island, both in and out of the water, and in the summer you might get away with just your boardshorts.
The South Island, on the other hand, is cold and can get bitter in the winter, but the quality empty surf more than makes up for the temperature. Christchurch and Dunedin on the east coast attracts most of the surfers so if you steer clear of these you’ll pretty much have the rest of the island to yourself! Top spots on the South Island are the variety of breaks around Dunedin and the powerful reefs and points of Kaikoura.
If you’re already a keen surfer then you’ll love what New Zealand has to offer. If you’ve thought about learning to surf, but never found the time, a New Zealand holiday is your perfect opportunity.
And on top of that, it’s a beautiful country (PureNewZealand) and besides the surfing there’s tonnes of other extreme adventures for you to try out…