Auckland Surfing

Everything you need to know about surfing in Auckland

From mellow to barrelling and from beginner friendly to strictly pros-only territory, the Auckland surfing menu of breaks includes at least one offering in every category - beach, reef, point, sand bar and river mouth.

Auckland, like most of New Zealand, is perfectly situated to pick up the long distance swell which arrives on these shores from every direction meaning more often than not there is a wave somewhere.  Auckland's geographical make-up, on a narrow isthmus of land, delivers perhaps the biggest surfing advantage of all - it is a two coast surf destination.

The west coast beaches are typically wild and challenging, highly consistent and suitable only for experienced surfers when it gets big.

The east coast, although less consistent and sometimes flat for prolonged periods in summer, has some mellower options and great beginner friendly spots.

The two combined, never far apart from each other, give Auckland surfing the widest variety of wind, tide and swell combos you could ask for.

West Coast Beaches

The following is a list of Auckland's most well known west coast breaks, from north to south.


  • Type: Powerful beach break; left-hander from rocks at beach's south end.
  • Equipment hire: Yes.
  • Lessons: Yes.
  • Lifeguards: Yes, in summer.
  • When it's flat: There is a gannet colony which nest on both cliffs and offshore rock stack and can be viewed from the beach's southern end; horse riding through forest and along beach; bush walking.
  • Extra info: Cafes and restaurants.

Read more info and view Muriwai Video.

Maori Bay:

  • Type: Powerful and hollow beach break; left and right point breaks.
  • Equipment hire: No
  • Lessons: No
  • Lifeguards: No
  • When it's flat: Walk through the tunnel cave.
  • Extra info: Head north to nearby Muriwai for cafes, surf board hire and lessons.


Piha is the most popular and famous of the Auckland surf beaches with its very own TV show 'Piha Rescue'.  When it gets big this beach is strictly experts only territory (unless that is, you hanker after a personal appearance on Piha Rescue!)

  • Type: Powerful beach break; a sand bar left at South Piha; left-hander which breaks off Camel Rock.
  • Equipment hire: Yes.
  • Lessons: Yes, more than one option.
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • When it's flat: Piha is a super-popular beach - thanks to its city centre proximity - which means there's plenty to do even when you're not wave riding. During summer there is a lifeguard-patrolled flagged swimming area. Among the other options are canyoning and many walks in the Waitakere Regional Parkland.
  • Extra info: Several places to eat and drink, surf shops and a general store. Piha Surf Shuttle runs a twice daily service between Auckland centre and Piha.

Read more info and view Piha Beach Video.

East Coast

Te Arai:

  • Type: Beach break can get hollow.
  • Equipment Hire: Yes.
  • Lessons: Yes.
  • Lifeguards: No.
  • When it's flat: A beach walk with an alpaca (we're not kidding!)
  • Extra info: Head into nearby Mangawhai for supplies, cafes and shops.


  • Type: Beach break; left-hand point.
  • Equipment Hire: No
  • Lessons: Yes, at Te Arai
  • Lifeguards: No
  • When it's flat: Plenty in the surrounding region to do but nothing at Te Arai/Forestry itself.
  • Extra info: See Te Arai

Daniels Reef:

  • Type: Reef break
  • Equipment Hire: No
  • Lessons: No, this is not a beginners' spot.
  • Lifeguards: No
  • When it's flat: Plenty of activities in area.
  • Extra info: No facilities here, head into nearby Leigh for supplies

Tawharanui /Anchor Bay:

  • Type: Beach break
  • Equipment Hire: No
  • Lessons: No
  • Lifeguards: No
  • When it's flat: Swimming, snorkelling, diving, bush and beach walks.
  • Extra info: No facilities in this unspoilt nature sanctuary but plenty in surrounding area.

Read more info and view Tawharanui Beach Video.


This one's a bit of a cheat because it's not actually in Auckland but at just a 2 hour drive south it may as well be.  Besides, in the surfing world Raglan is recognised, on a global scale, as a wave riding Mecca.

  • Type: World class range of left-hand points which link on bigger swells.
  • Equipment hire: Yes, several.
  • Lessons: Yes, several.
  • Lifeguards: Yes.
  • When it's flat: Rock climbing, abseiling, caving, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), beautiful bush walks and waterfalls, scenic tours, horse riding, kayaking and lots more.
  • Extra info: Loads of facilities - places to eat, drink and sleep and surf shops.

Things to Know

Kit:  Whether you need to hire or buy, Auckland has a wide range of options for those looking for kit thanks to an established and thriving surf industry and community.

Easy access:  West coast surf breaks range from a driving distance of 30 and 45 minutes while some of the east coast options are up to 90 minutes away.

Facilities: Eating and drinking facilities as well as surf shops, supplies and lifeguards can all be found at the more developed surf spots.

Surf schools:  There are plenty of surf schools offering lessons for total beginners upwards and some of which operate directly from the beach in question.

Check out to get a list of all Auckland based surf schools with the correct accreditation.