Northland Surfing

About Northland

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.


  • Super-wide swell window

  • NZ?s warmest region

  • Mostly uncrowded

  • Shipwreck Bay lefts

  • Outdoor sports heaven


  • West coast frequently onshore

  • Many spots with tough 4WD access

  • Inconsistent East Coast

  • Long hikes to some spots

Surf Spots