Australia and New Zealand possess one of the most diverse wave scapes on the planet. It could just be the perfect place for the traveling surfer that wants to get some good waves, but isn’t necessarily interested in risking life and limb. With friendly people, beautiful beaches and a decent pub here and there Australia and New Zealand are worth the trip. There’s something for everybody. Be it giant storm surf off the western coasts of Australia, New Zealand or Tasmania, perfect points like Kirra and Ragland, or playful beach breaks the potential is limitless. There are waves to be found just about all year round. Depending on when you go water temps can range from warm enough for trunks during the Southern Hemi summer to frigid enough for your thickest wettie during the winter. If variety is the spice of life Australia and New Zealand’s got some kick.
NEW ZEALAND SURF OVERVIEW
Although New Zealand is only about the size of the US State of Colorado, it has about as much coastline as the entire mainland US. No part of New Zealand is more than 70 miles from the sea. Beach breaks are the most common, and quality will vary with swells winds and seasons, all of which affect the sandbars. There are many good rock and lava reefs, points and rivermouth breaks, however. Tidal variations affect most spots. 325 surf sites are identified in Wayne Warwick’s 1978 “A Guide toSurfriding in New Zealand” which is a major source of information for “The Surf Report,” although many ofthe lesser, mediocre beach breaks are eliminated from mention here and some new spots have been added (nine on the North Island). Depending on the strictness of the definition, there may be as few as 20,000surfers in New Zealand or as many as 100,000, either way just a fraction of the number found in SouthernCalifornia alone. This leaves thousands of miles of coastline to be shared by fewer surfers than live in Orange County (California). New Zealand and Australian surfers travel across the Tasman Sea dividing the two countries regularly, so new innovations in design and performance are quickly exchanged.
MARGARET RIVER SURF OVERVIEW
This is the main surfing area of West Australia and the quality and consistency of the waves here rival any place in the world. In the five-mile stretch from the rivermouth at Prevelly Point south to Redgate there are at least a dozen surf breaks of superior quality. They are often crowded, they can take swells of all sizes, morning winds are offshore, and they break all year long. Several motels and hotels, beach cottages and camping make this a haven for visiting surfers. Most tourists arrive for the summer vacation period right around Christmas, but it’s a good idea to make reservations for this area year-round.