5 June 2020 | Written by Lydia Twohill

5 best surf spots in the South Island

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New Zealand has some of the world’s best surf – spread across both the North and the South Island, offering any keen surfer endless opportunities to find some fantastic waves. The South Island offers some seriously good scenery as a backdrop to your ride. From surf beaches right on the doorstep of cities to remote and rugged breaks found a 4-days walk away from any town! The South Island has it all for a unique surf experience.

We’ve rounded up 5 of the best spots to catch a wave in the South Island…


1. St Clair

best surf spots south island new zealand
Photo credit: DunedinNZ

Probably the most convenient of the surf beaches in the South Island, St Clair is right on Dunedin’s doorstep. It has both right and left hand breaks and sometimes even produces some hollow waves. It’s definitely a popular spot so it can get a little busy. The Autumn and Winter seasons are the ideal time to get amongst this surf! Looking for more ideas of what to do in Dunedin? Check out our top 5 things to do in Dunedin!


2. Westport

south island surf spot: westport
Photo credit: PatrikStedrak

The West Coast is renowned for having epic waves! You’ll find just that at the surf beaches of Westport. No matter if you’re just starting out or you’re an avid pro, there’s a great experience to be had for everyone. You’ll find Carters Beach and North Beach closest to town which are both excellent options for all levels. If you fancy venturing a little further afield, check out Tauranga Bay for some epic breaks best surfed at low tide.


3. Taylor’s Mistake

south island new zealand surfing
Photo credit: Lukas Kastner

Ignore the somewhat off-putting name, this happens to be arguably the best surf near Christchurch. Although the Cnaterbury region certainly isn’t known for being a surfer’s paradise, this hidden bay offers some impressive surfing conditions. You’ll need to time your trip just right as the conditions aren’t all that consistent, but when they are – get set for some 3-4 foot barrels! The break is best experienced in a South-Easterly swell, however a Northerly and eastern can work well too. Be sure to check the surf report before embarking on your adventure. Alternatively, you could also check out the surf at New Brighton.


4. Farewell Spit

farewill spit surf conditions
Photo credit: LazingBee

You’ll find Farewell Spit in the north of the wild West Coast. Ideal for those wanting long rides that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping, minus the crowds – look no further than Pillar Point. This surfing spot is located at the western end of the spit. 


5. Colac Bay

surfing at colac bay
Photo credit: m-kojot

Probably the furthest south you can experience awesome surf at! This exposed beach break is located in the Southland region and offers fantastic surf conditions year round. Keep an eye on the surf report, you’ll ideally want to head out when there’s a north-easterly wind.


Ready to embark on a surfing adventure and experience some of the most scenic spots the South Island has to offer? Why not book a holiday home to base yourself from!

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