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5 Places to Surf in the South Island


Ride the South Island’s waves!

Delving into the waters of New Zealand’s South Island is a chilly yet rewarding experience for surfers. Hire a wetsuit! New Zealand has a huge surf culture that motivates even the locals to travel around New Zealand’s surf beaches in search of the next pumping wave.

The South Island offers completely contrasting environments to surf in to North Island surfing, for example, surf beaches can be found on the doorstep of major cities to remote beaches a 4-day’s walk away from anywhere! You’re sure to get a unique surf experience. If you’re a beginner, there are plenty of surf school’s around the country eager to share their love for the ocean with us backpackers.

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1. St Clair

A popular beach in Dunedin, St Clair has excellent beach breaks and sometimes produces hollow waves.


2. Kahutara

Kahutara is a point break just outside of Kaikoura. Make sure you have a wetsuit, as Kahutara provides a good surf in all seasons… except summer.


3. Farewell Spit

In the north of the wild West Coast is Farewell Spit. This surf spot is ideal for those wanting to get away from the crowd without losing the quality of the fast and long rides.


4. Taylor’s Mistake

The Canterbury region is by no means a surfer’s paradise, but hidden in a bay outside of Christchurch is Taylor’s Mistake. Not the most consistent surf conditions but arguably offers the best surf near Christchurch.


5. Big Bay

It would take you about four days to walk through the Fiordland National Park to get to this exclusive surf location.


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