In front of a beautiful mountainous landscape and located directly on the Pacific Ocean, is the spectacular coast of Kaikoura and home to some of the best waves the South Islands has on offer!
In front of a beautiful mountainous landscape and located directly on the Pacific Ocean, is the spectacular coast of Kaikoura and home to some of the best waves the South Islands has on offer! Surfing in Kaikoura offers numerous options condensed into a small geographic area most which are located close to the main highway.
Kaikoura‘s quality waves is all thanks to the three ocean trenches, the Conway Trough, Kaikoura Canyon and the Hikurangi Trough. Some Kaikoura surf breaks are affected by massive tidal upswelling which can cause a break to jump in size from two to five feet in ten minutes with the change of tide. Be prepared for big, powerful and hollow waves here! The cold nutrient deep waters of Kaikoura are swept close to shore so you could be sharing these waters with seals, dolphins, orca, whales and the odd great white shark.
Discover a series of grunty left and rights breaking over rolling boulders. The right breaks peel longer, while the lefts are shorter and more hollow. This location is a magnet for the south swells so watch for macca clean-ups on big days. It is however slightly tricky to launch as the area has slippery moving rocks and heavy shorey. The optimum size is 3-6ft (1-2m), suitable for competent surfers.
Manga's the ultimate wave for short, long boards and anything in between. It's an epic right-hand point break that peels for 100-300m depending on the swell angle. Due to the large swells it creates a strong rip that sucks around the corner making it difficult to stay in the line-up. There are three distinct sections at Mangamaunu, the Outsides - expect a big hollow ledgey takeoff followed by a quick barrel section and a long workable wall. A big cuttie section will link you through to Middles. You'll be able to pull into another barrel section featuring a long speed wall with cutback sections. From here Insides takes over and you can get very hollow and fast! Good for surfers of all levels, can get crowded with the locals.
Just a short drive south from Kaikoura, the river mouth in Kahutara guarantees you action on right-hand point breaks and demonstrates nature at its wildest. Further south on the coast of Oaro some good breaks over shifting sandbars also create stunning surfing experiences for you.
Remember, just like other parts of the South Island, winter requires quality equipment to make surfing here enjoyable. Water temperatures can dip below eight degrees.