The Clutha District has some of New Zealand’s best kept surfing spots. It gets colder down this area, so you will need to wear plenty of rubber!

While the Clutha coastline is still largely undiscovered in surfing terms, it is known to have some of the most reliable waves. With many reef breaks along this coast, you will have enough to keep you riding for some time! The Catlins, being such an exposed coastline frequently experiences wild weather and heavy ocean swells which attracts big-wave surfers.

  • Taieri Mouth is an exposed beach/river bar break that has consistent surf offering both left and right handers. The best wind direction is from the west northwest, and is best at low tide. 
  • Kaka Point (beginner to expert) is a beach break with rocky points. There are several peaks to choose from with both right and left handers. The wave is punchy and powerful.
  • Nugget Point (beginner to expert) is a fairly consistent and sheltered beach break with some rocky points. Surf one of the several peaks along this section of coastline, with both right and left handers.
  • Cannibal Bay (all levels) is a beach break with several peaks to choose from, with both right and left handers. The wave is powerful and provides quality hollow barrels when offshore.
  • Catlins River Mouth is an exposed beach break that has consistent surf, and both left and right handers at all tide levels. The ideal swell is from the south southeast.
  • Purakaunui Bay (or PK Bay) is one of the more well-known beach breaks in The Catlins providing both left and righthanders. It has consistent and powerful surf, at all tide levels The best wind direction is from the northwest. Note: There is a DOC campsite here.
  • Long Point (intermediate to expert) is a top rated left-hand point breakpoint break on a rocky point. It’s a long left hander with a steep drop in.
  • Papatowai (experts only) is a favourite for big wave riders, with a quality beach break at the river mouth. Papatowai breaks out on the reef at the point with a large right hand reef break and difficult left hander. The point needs over 5 metre swells, with a jet ski or boat recommended. Note: There is a DOC campsite here.
  • Tautuku (all levels) is a beach break with several peaks to choose from with both left and right handers.
  • Porpoise Bay (all levels) is a beach break with several peaks to choose from with both right and left handers. The wave is often bigger at the north end of the beach, and the left end gets some good left hand barrels.
  • Curio Bay (all levels) is a beach break at the southern end of Porpoise Bay. There are several peaks, both right and left handers, with quality hollow lefts down the end. The halfmoon shape of the bay allows you to pick the size of swell.

 

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