Just on the southeastern coast of the South Island you will find a treasure trove of nature filled up with endless wild beaches, magnificent cliffs, coves and hidden bays.
Just on the southeastern coast of the South Island you will find a treasure trove of nature filled up with endless wild beaches, magnificent cliffs, coves and hidden bays. The Catlins Coast is known for its natural rugged beauty, its scenic coastal landscape and dense temperate rainforest. Because of the location of the Catlins, the exposed area frequently leads to wild weather and heavy ocean swells with attract big-wave surfers. Surf alongside the locals, amongst the New Zealand fur seals and Hooker’s sea lions which also enjoy the surf. The Catlins is also home to the endangered yellow-eyed penguins.
Cannibal Bay is an exposed beach break producing grunty A-frame peaks. The beach takes on southerly swells head-on so expect pure southern power and hollow barrels when conditions are clean. Your wave size is around 4-6ft (1-2m) with a tough paddle when it's big. This bay is good for surfers of all levels.
Head to Papatowai if you dare! This area is the center for New Zealand's big wave surfing with breaks starting to work at 10ft and will hold solid for 25 ft (7.5m)! There is a massive right-hand reef break along with a suicidal left. Papatowai is hardcore, dangerous and suitable for experts only. Make sure you watch the locals before paddling out and watch out for rocks and kelp.
Well known for its’ remoteness, this corner of the South Island is often called a ‘hidden gem’. Owaka with a population of almost 400 people reflect these unique characteristics.
Off the beaten track you will discover a very special area of New Zealand. Head south from Waikawa and explore the stunning beaches of Porpoise Bay and the southern Curio Bay. These locations pick up the powerful swell around the southern ocean and create breathtaking surfing experiences. Enjoy the amazing scenery on a wave-ride all year round.