Welcome to the surf capital of New Zealand! Since the early 1960’s Gisborne’s beaches have attracted surfers from all over the world due to its amazing hotspots. A wide range of bays with different surf breaks provide numerous surfing locations for all levels.
This hard core surfing city is famous for its high quality, stress-free waves attracting surfers since the sports birth as well as its remoteness and lack of crowds. Due to the coast's exposure to a 180 degree swell window, you can look at any weather map and there's a good chance you'll see isobars fresh from the east or south that will push three or four metre swells onto Gisborne's coastline.
In Gisborne you will get the chance to greet the sunrise first in the world and therefore dawn surfing will be an unforgettable experience! This laid-back Kiwi surf town is the perfect place for any travelling surfer on a mission, you'll find all you need including accommodation, surf shops, board manufacturers and places to eat.
Expect to see fat pushy right-hand point breaks which provide a slow mellow wave. For the best waves, wait for a large northwest/north swell or mega northeast swell; with these, expect long rides with multiple sections. This is a great isolated spot if Hawai Beach around the corner is blown out. Maraenui suits intermediate level surfers.
Waikanae beach is the main town beach and is the perfect location for your first surfing experiments. Break consists of a mellow beach break with constantly changing banks. The soft long walls closes out over 4ft (1.5m).
This is a quality beach break peak which breaks left and right. The right is longer and Pipe is legendary for its hollow barrels, the takeoff is sucky with a speedy tube section with a short workable wall peeling into a rip channel. Optimum wave size is around 3-6ft (1-1.8m). Expect to see heavy crowds here, suitable for competent surfers.
Wainui Beach and Makorori Point in the east are famous for their great surf breaks and are some of the favorite surfing spots in New Zealand.