With nearly 3,500km of coastline there are many areas to explore on the North Island. On the east side there are up to 8 great surfing regions: Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Mahia, Hawke’s Bay, Wairapapa and Wellington further south. Gisborne could get very busy in the summer but further north towards the East Cape, calmer conditions can be found. Book your surf stay in New Zealand right now!
Despite Raglan’s very long left pointbreaks where you can improve, most of competitive surfers come from Gisborne. Even though the Gisborne surf zone is smaller and generally cleaner than the west coast, don’t think it’s less powerful. In addition to the high density of surfers, combined with the quality of the spots, New Zealand hides one of the sunniest and most unspoiled areas, reputed to be the surfing capital: Gisborne.
Hick’s bay has a beautiful long beach that needs E-NE swell to work and it is offshore with the prevailing SW wind. As the swell grows in size, the adjacent Horseshoes Bay beachbreak may reach its limit but it is possible to surf the left and right points located on both sides of the bay.
Heading south, there are many waves that aren’t frequently surfed; Waipiro Bay and its 5 right-handed pointbreaks, it’s one of those places worth going to. Continuing to follow the coast to the south, we find the exposed beachbreaks of Tokomaru Bay. These require S-SW winds and work with all tides. Three Points is a set of right-handed pointbreaks that everyone talks about but they are rarely surfed due to the difficult access. In fact, permits and a long walk are required to reach the spot. These waves start working with medium sized E swells. If the swell is large, then check out Tologa Point , a right-hand point to surf at mid-low tide. Loisells in Waihau Bay has an exposed beachbreak with a bizarre rocky area. It gets a lot of swells but the NE with N-NW winds are definitely the best. The proximity of Whangara to Gisborne, offers the possibility for the numerous surfers of the area to ride its beachbreaks in calm conditions with wind from west. The beachbreaks of Pouawa , accessible by short walks on sand dunes, need the same conditions as Whangara but with NW wind. Further south we find North Makarori and an additional amount of beachbreak. The perfect condition for these spots is with N winds and large NE swells. Through a long row it is possible to reach the long right of Makarori Point , best with swell from S-SE and at low tide. Some say Wainui is the most consistent beachbreak / reef with no less than 5 wave sections: Whales, Chalet, Pines, School and the first Stock Route spot, which can get very fast and massive.
After a series of spots we find Sponge Bay , which despite its name, is not only a spot for bodyboarders but also a great beach known for its access to the best wave in Gisborne: Tuamotu Island . Here we find long lefts produced by swells from the SE with winds from the NE; the row is long but when it works well, it’s worth it! Gizzy Pipe is another world-class quality tubing beachbreak, which is often close-out. Waipaoa River Bar is a long, sandy pointbreak with fun peaks.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||Motel Oasis Gisborne||Tolaga Bay Inn||Rangimarie Anaura Bay Beachstay|
|From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020||€ 357||€ 210||€ 441|
New Zealand receives a multiplicity of swells. The west coast is more open to groundswells from SW-W. Between April and October in Gisborne there are almost always 3-10ft waves. Summer is the cyclonic swell season (January-March) although the NE swell window is narrow. Cyclonic swells are rare but summer windswells from NE are quite frequent and, even if its waves aren’t very good, they allow you to surf almost every day. Drive to the Bay of Plenty when the NE swell is very small (6h drive). The prevailing SW winds are offshore and lighter than the more exposed west coast. Winds blow more from the North in the summer and more from the South in the winter. The tides are semi diurnal and they can reach up to 6ft. With very high tide levels, several beachbreaks and some reefbreaks could be affected.
How to get there : Almost everyone needs a visa. The main entry into the country is Auckland, Air New Zealand is a surfer-friendly company. Gisborne is equidistant to Willington and Auckland, 9h drive. Take the SH38 highway to enjoy the scenery of the Raukamara range. It looks shorter but it is double like the SH2. Flights to Giborne cost around $ 110. $ 13 boarding fee.
Getting around : The SH35 coastal road is very good. Gisborne is 1h45min from Tokomaru bay and 2h from Hivk’s bay. Bus transports are efficient, the main operator is InterCity. Buy a car if you are staying more than 3 months. Renting it costs from $ 24 per day with Rent a Dent. Gasoline costs $ 0.76-0.90 / l. You drive on the left.
Accommodation and food : The 4 categories are Hotels / Motels, self contained Hideway, backpackers, Camping Grounds / Motor Camp. Backpackers cost $ 15 / double. The best is Wainui, Whales B&B for around $ 44 / day or the Chalet Surf Lodge with sea view rooms for $ 60 / double and backpacker beds for $ 20. A meal costs around $ 10.
Climate : Gisborne enjoys a dry and sunny climate. In summer, hot, dry weather prevails with daily temperatures of 20-28 ° C which can be accompanied by strong winds from the northwest. The sunniest months are those from February to October. Winter is mild and cool with daily temperatures of 10-16 ° C. April is the wettest month. Water temperatures never drop below 13 ° C but never go above 20 ° C.
Nature and Culture : In addition to being a heavenly spot, the sunny east coast has a lot more to offer than just waves. Ski resort at 7h, possibility of diving with cages to see sharks, horseback riding, visits to wineries, guided tours to immerse yourself in Maori culture. With only 30,000 people, Gisborne is rural, with only a few bars.
Dangers and Annoyances : No snakes or poisonous and dangerous creatures. Crime is low and therefore there are no particular tips to follow. Phenomena of localism could occur in some spots or during the weekend due to the extreme crowding. Beware of rocks and currents. No shark sightings.
Tips : There are many surf shops where you can buy quality equipment. Action or Blitz, The Boardroom (TOA tribal designs) or The New Wave Surfboard factory sell shortboards for $ 400 and malibu for $ 620. A 3-day surf trip with Eastland Explorer costs $ 145 in the summer, $ 175 in the winter and can accommodate up to 5 surfers.
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 1.08 USD; 1 € = 1.51 NZD; 1 EUR = 1.41 AUD
Exchange rate variations (more than 3%) will lead to an adjustment of costs. They will be communicated within 20 days of departure.
The tariff does not include
Duration: 9 days / 6 nights
from € 592 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 6 nights
from € 242 - Excluding flights
Duration: 8 days / 6 nights
from € 179 - Excluding flights
In search of the perfect wave: 10 unique beaches for surfing, between breathtaking landscapes and a hypnotizing sea. Crazy waves, oceans that fascinate for the power they hide and wonderful beaches where nature is still the absolute protagonist: we go around the world , this time, for surf lovers, finding the ten best places to […]
Are you a surfing fanatic always looking for the perfect wave? Did you know that South East Asia is the ideal place for adrenaline lovers, with waves up to 300 meters long and as high as buildings! South East Asia is a tangle of contradictions and contrasts, where the great noisy and chaotic metropolises with […]