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Surfing at Waipu

Whangarei’s spectacular east coast is brimming over with gorgeous white sand beaches and coves. Some are super sheltered and will barely raise a wave, others offer clean well-formed waves. The subtropical climate means comfortable surfing all-year round and you may experience the ultimate bonus of being joined by dolphins or seeing orca along the coastline.

Here are some well-known surf beaches and others that are well off the beaten track.

Bream Bay & Ruakaka

Langs Beach, Ding Bay - two hours from Auckland city

Less than two hours from Auckland city, Langs Beach, Waipu has several peaks with both right and left handers. There is often good left hander off the rocks at the northern end of the beach. Good for all levels of surfer. 


Ruakaka Beach is a couple of hours north of Auckland city, and is part of the large sweeping beach of Bream Bay. It offers both left and right handers with a good lefthander off the rocks at the northern end of the beach. From State Highway 1, take a right onto Marsden Point Rd, and then another right onto Peter Snell Rd. Park up and head over the tracks through the sand dunes to the beach.

Whangarei Heads

Oceans Beach - two 1/2 hours from Auckland city

Ocean Beach at the end of the Whangarei Heads peninsula is about 40 minutes from Whangarei city. There are several peaks with both left and right handers. The beach is popular with locals and can be busy during summer. Lifeguards patrol from October to April.

Surf Whangarei's East Coast

Sandy Bay, Woolleys Bay and Pataua North, all great surf spots on the Tutukaka Coast

Tutukaka Coast 

Pataua North - three hours from Auckland city

Pataua North has waves that vary depending on the sand movement and tide. There is a right hand river mouth bar break but also strong rips so is best for experienced surfers.
You can get to Pataua North from Pautaua South by crossing the pedestrian bridge or paddling across the estuary. To drive there, follow the road for the Tutukaka Coast, turning off at Harris Road.

Woolleys Bay

Woolleys Bay is on the Tutukaka Coast. It has easy parking, shady trees and good waves on offer for all levels of surfer.

Sandy Bay

Just over the hill from Woolleys, is Sandy Bay is an iconic surf beach that has been the home of everyone’s favourite winter surf competition, the North Coast Boardriders Polar Surf Classic, for over 3 years. Park up, unload and step straight onto the sand and into the water.

Whananaki South

Head inland along Matapouri Road and then turn right onto Whananaki South Road to the ocean side of the Whananaki estuary (30 minutes). There is a left hand bar break at the river mouth and several peaks down the beach, with both right and left handers. 
There are no stores or accommodation in Whananaki South. The tiny village of Whananaki North, with a store and a school along with a choice of campgrounds, is only accessible from here via the pedestrian footbridge – the longest in the southern hemisphere.


Follow the winding road past the Whananaki North village until you reach Moureeces. This is a remote and beautiful area with several peaks and right and left-handers. 

Learn to surf

Learn to surf in paradise. There are a great local companies who can teach you to surf. They know the local weather, the local swell and the local waves intimately. Gear is provided and you’ll have the best day of your life.