New Zealand Surf Tours

New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud offers frontier surf – perfect waves with minimal crowds

LowPressure Stormrider Surf Guide says


A bit like South Africa, many surfers write off New Zealand as a surf destination because it’s too far or too cold. The cold argument doesn’t hold for Northland, where clear, warm sub-tropical waters wash both sides of a peninsula that benefits from a near 300° swell window. Any pulse from SSW all the way round to SE will hit countless uncrowded beaches, points and reefs. Northland is relatively narrow and at the widest point it’s less then 1 hours drive from east to west. The Twin Coast Discovery Highway leads to most of the surf locations so it’s perfectly suited to campervan touring. Piha was the birthplace of NZ surfing, introduced by two Californian lifeguards, Rick Stoner and Bing Copeland.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.



With nearly 3,500km (2190mi) of coastline, there are many areas to check on the North Island. On the east side, there are up to 8 surf regions: Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Mahia, Hawke’s Bay, Wairapapa and Wellington down south. Gisborne can get a bit too busy in summer, but further north towards East Cape, less crowded conditions quickly become apparent. Despite the endless pointbreak lefts of Raglan to practise on, many of New Zealand’s best competitive surfers come from the Gisborne area, because what it lacks in primo surf spots, is more than made up for by its consistency. Although the Gisborne zone surf is smaller and generally cleaner than the west coast, don’t think that it’s any less powerful. Above average surfer density combined with quality spots, conveniently hidden amidst the sunniest and most untouched part of New Zealand, gives rise to Gisborne’s reputation as the surf capital.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

Mahia Peninsula

The Mahia peninsula is located on the east coast of the North Island, between the cities of Gisborne and Napier. The peninsula is a beautiful, hilly promontory, with isolated golden sand beaches and wonderfully clear water. It has a flexible array of reefs, points and beaches, which between them will catch any swell direction going. The predominant SW winds are perfect for many of the exposed spots plus somewhere will always be offshore, no matter what the wind direction. It attracts people from all over the country to take part in the numerous outdoor sports that this area is suited to, yet there are no hotels, resorts or amusement parks and everything remains truly wild. The laid back, country feel is somewhat tempered by localism, so a low profile attitude is needed.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.


New Zealand plunges far into the Southern Ocean and feels the full force of the Roaring Forties swells that march out of the deep. The North Island of the country is an easy place to visit, receives some classic waves and yet it is still relatively untapped by travelling surfers. Closer to the capitol Auckland, is New Zealand’s most famous wave; the super long, perfect left point of Raglan. Another 5hr south is the Taranaki area and the host of waves that fan around the base of Mt Egmont from Waitara in the north to Hawera in the south. This area gets the most swell and has the greatest concentration of quality spots on the North Island. There are a few surfers around who like to protect their secret spots, but there is a lot of breaks and plenty of scope for exploration.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.



This zone is the lowest latitude destination in the Southern Hemisphere, so think cold. Cross-over boarders may be more interested in the winter snow capped peaks rather then the white capped ones in the sea. While much of South Island, like the West Coast or Dunedin, rely on quality beachbreaks, here is a zone littered with right pointbreaks, helping hardcore surfers avoid ice-cream headache paddle outs. South Island, aka Te Wai Pounamu meaning Jade Island, with 3,200km (2000mi) of coastline has a small population so expect few crowds at the worst. Archaeological remains indicate that Moa Hunters inhabited the Kaikoura Peninsula 900 years ago. To the Maori this is a place of great historical significance. The foothills of the Seaward Kaikoura Range extend down to the Pacific coast leaving a narrow corridor for rail and road access. Fishing settlements, seal and bird colonies cling to rocky shores, from which pods of dolphins and occasionally whales can be spotted.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.


Otago and Southland offer some of the most challenging and rewarding surf breaks to be found anywhere in the country. Swells can get huge and it’s no wonder that the Rex Von Huben memorial Big Wave contest is held here, usually in October and attracting a hard-core of the country's best to celebrate the life of a legendary Dunedin local. Over the decades, Dunedin surfers have gained recognition as chargers and Papatowai is not the official tow-in break in New Zealand. North Otago spots are rare because good NE swells don’t quite break often but when they do, those points like Murderers give wordclass surfing.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.


Conditions described by the operator

New Zealand is one of the last areas in the world to be discovered as a major surfing destination. It is common for us to be the only ones in the water surfing perfect waves. It has kilometres of scenic coast that are constantly pounded by swells from all angles. Being a mobile surf company we are able to make use of both coasts being so close together. On any given day we are able to find the best possible conditions available.

The waves you will surf are as good as anywhere in the world only far less crowded. You have the choice of beach breaks, river bars, point breaks, and reef breaks.

On our 5 and 12 day surf tours we always find good quality waves that suit all levels of surfing. Flat days don’t exist on these trips!

In summer, the air temperature can reach around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). The average water temperatures Auckland north are around 22 degrees Celsius ( 74 Fahrenheit).


Approximate season times

Our 5 and 12 day surf tours run from October to June.

All other surf trips depart all year around.


The following map shows the relevant area for

  • 1 Day Surf Tours
  • 1 and 2 Day Surf School


The following map shows the relevant area for

  • 5 and 12 Day Surf Tours
  • 5 Day Surf Camp
  • Custom Surf Adventure




West coast beach 45 minutes from downtown Auckland, consistent beach breaks with South Piha being the most popular.



West coast beach 45 minutes from downtown Auckland, consistent beach break.



East coast 1.5 hours north of Auckland, good beach break with 6 other nice beach breaks within 30 minutes drive.



East Coast 2 hours south of Auckland, good beach breaks and river bars.



West coast excellent left hand point break 2 hours south of Auckland. World famous for its 3 points, Manu, Whale and Indicators.


5, 12 Day Surf Trips and Custom Surf Adventures

Shipwreck Bay

Sub tropical and perfect waves for all levels of surfing.


Far North East Coast

Unlimited options with lots of breaks dotted up and down the coast.


New Plymouth

Multiple beach and reef breaks for all surfers. Excellent surf and culture.



East coast, known for its consistent clean waves and good sand banks.


Mahia Peninsula

Hard to get to, hardcore waves for experienced surfers.


Other Spots

  • Mangamaunu
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin
  • Papatowi
PP/Night from US$ 87