Known as the City of Sails, Auckland has both white and black-sand beaches and is home to more than a dozen epic surf spots, all within a two-hour drive of the city centre. Options for beginner and advanced surfers are endless and give thrill-seekers an option to surf in both the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Head northeast from the Auckland CBD to Te Arai Point, a white sandy swimming beach that has decent left and right-handers for all levels. Waves break on the beach at this popular swimming spot near the town of Mangawhai. Beginners can book a learn-to-surf package with Aotearoa Surf.
Auckland’s north shore suburb of Orewa on Auckland’s east coast is a magnet for water sports. Orewa Bar at the estuary mouth, located at the southern end of Orewa Beach is a great surfing spot for beginners to experts, for those who want to catch fun, easy-going waves. Watch out for swimmers at this popular beach, and avoid the river mouths that have strong currents.
The white sand and rocky north facing beaches of Tāwharanui’s north are a great spot for surfing when southerly winds are blowing. This prime surf location, also known as Anchor Bay, is situated on the Tāwharanui peninsula on Auckland’s east coast.
Auckland’s Piha Beach on the east coast is situated within the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. This spectacular black sand beach is one of New Zealand’s top surfing spots. The long beach has several surf breaks with waves reaching up to three metres (10ft). The southern section of the beach has a good left-hander off Camel Rock. Lion Rock has left and riders off both sides, and the easiest way to paddle out is to use the rip near this section. The northern section of the beach has several peaks near the stream and down the north end of the beach.
Muriwai Beach is on the west coast of Auckland and is a great spot for surfing with its black sand beaches. This spot is better suited to experienced surfers with its wally, powerful waves and dangerous currents, especially on big days.
Located further south from Muriwai is Te Henga, Bethells Beach, another great surfing spot on Auckland’s west coast. This Tasman Sea beach features a dramatic rocky coast and black sand with dunes and a coastal wetland nearby. Waves are suitable for levels and sizes are anywhere between a half metre and two metres (1.5ft/6ft).