The Whangārei District's spectacular east coast has over 100 gorgeous white sand beaches and coves. Some are super sheltered, 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.
Check out some well-known surf beaches and others that are a little off the beaten track. Always take care. Be aware of rips, often around the rocks at the end of bays and the sandy bottoms of our surf beaches often develop unexpected holes.
Less than two hours from Auckland city, Langs Beach, Waipu has several peaks with both right and left handers that will suit all levels of surfer. There is often good left hander off the rocks at the northern end of the beach.
Ruakākā is a couple of hours north of Auckland city and is part of the long sweeping beach of Bream Bay. It is an exposed beach with both left and right hand breaks.
From State Highway 1 heading north, take a right onto Marsden Point Rd and another onto Peter Snell Rd. Park up and head over the tracks through the sand dunes to the beach.
Ocean Beach at the end of the Whangārei Heads peninsula is about 40 minutes from Whangārei 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.
Pātaua North waves 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 Pātaua North from Pātaua South by crossing the pedestrian bridge or paddling across the estuary. To drive there, follow the road for the Tutukākā Coast, turning off at Harris Road.
Woolleys Bay is on the Tutukākā Coast and has easy parking, shady trees and offers good waves when the swell is right. It's great for beginners and kids, but always be aware of rips, especially around the rocks.
Just over the hill from Woolleys, is Sandy Bay an iconic surf beach that has been the home of the Polar Bear Surf Classic, everyone’s favourite winter surf competition, for over 30 years. The best waves are on a northerly to north east swell. Park up, unload and step straight onto the sand and into the water.
Head inland along Matapōuri 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.
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. There are no stores or accommodation in Whananaki South.
Follow the winding road from the State Highway past the Whananaki North village until you reach Moureeses, a remote and beautiful beach with several peaks and right and left-handers. Moureeses is about an hour from Whangārei city and there are several campgrounds in the area.
Learn to surf in paradise
Reach out to 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 might have the best day of your life.