Surfing in Taranaki, New Plymouth: The Complete Guide

Welcome to the ultimate guide for surfing in Taranaki, New Plymouth! If you’re a surf enthusiast, you’re in the right place. Taranaki offers some of the world’s best surf breaks, stunning coastal views, and a vibrant surfing community. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your Taranaki surfing experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Taranaki is an ideal destination for surfers looking for world-class surf breaks.
  • New Plymouth is a beautiful coastal paradise with a vibrant surfing community.
  • This complete guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to catch the perfect wave in Taranaki.

Why Taranaki is a Surfer’s Dream

If you’re a surfer, you know that finding the perfect wave is a never-ending quest. But what if we told you there was a place where the waves were consistently good and the coastline was stunningly beautiful? Welcome to Taranaki, New Plymouth – a surfer’s dream destination.

Taranaki is located on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, and is renowned for its world-class surf breaks. From the iconic surf spot at Stent Road to the challenging waves at Fitzroy Beach, Taranaki offers a variety of waves suitable for all levels of surfing abilities.

But it’s not just the waves that make Taranaki a surfer’s paradise. The coastal scenery in this region is simply breathtaking, with rugged cliffs and rolling green hills providing the perfect backdrop to your surfing adventures.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner just starting out, Taranaki’s surf breaks are sure to leave you feeling stoked. So grab your board, hit the waves, and experience the thrill of surfing in Taranaki – a true surfer’s dream.

The Best Surf Spots in Taranaki

If you’re planning a surfing trip to Taranaki, you’ll want to make sure you hit up the best surf spots in the region. Here are some of our top picks for surf spots in Taranaki:

Surf SpotSuitable ForIdeal Conditions
Back BeachBeginners and IntermediateSoutheast winds and mid to high tide
Stent RoadExperienced surfersWest to southwest winds and mid to high tide
Fitzroy BeachAll levelsNorth to northeast winds and mid to high tide
GraveyardsAdvanced surfersSouthwest winds and low to mid tide
Green MeadowsIntermediate surfersWest to southwest winds and low to mid tide

These are just a few of the many incredible surf spots in Taranaki. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there’s a wave waiting for you in this world-class surfing destination.

Surfing Safety in Taranaki

When hitting the waves in Taranaki, it’s important to prioritize safety. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Always check the surf conditions before heading out. Keep an eye on the swell, wind direction, and tide.
  • Choose a surf spot that matches your skill level. If you’re a beginner, avoid spots with big waves and strong currents.
  • Wear the appropriate safety gear, including a leash and a wetsuit if needed.
  • Respect local surf etiquette. Follow the rules of the line-up, wait your turn, and be courteous to other surfers.
  • Be aware of rips and currents. If you get caught in one, don’t panic and swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the rip.
  • Surf with a buddy. It’s always safer to have someone with you in case of an emergency.

Additionally, it’s important to be familiar with the beach you’re surfing at. Check for any hazards such as rocks or reefs that could be dangerous in the water. And if you’re unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to ask a local surfer or lifeguard for advice.

Understanding Rips and Currents

One of the biggest safety concerns when surfing in Taranaki is the presence of rips and currents. Rips are powerful currents that flow away from the shore and can quickly drag even the strongest swimmer out to sea. Here are some key facts to know:

Rips are caused by water flowing back out to sea after breaking waves push water up the beach.Currents are caused by the movement of water in the ocean, influenced by factors such as tides and winds.
Rips can be identified by looking for gaps in the breaking waves, discolored water or foam on the surface, and areas where the water appears calm.Currents can be identified by observing the movement of water, looking for areas where the water appears to be flowing differently from surrounding water.
If you get caught in a rip, don’t panic. Swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the rip, then swim back to shore.If you get caught in a current, stay calm and try to swim diagonally across the current to get out of it.

By following these safety tips and being aware of the risks posed by rips and currents, you can enjoy a safe and fun surfing experience in Taranaki.

Taranaki Surfing Events and Competitions

Are you ready to witness some of the most exciting surfing events and competitions in the world? Look no further than Taranaki, where the surf culture thrives and the waves are legendary. From amateur contests to professional championships, Taranaki has it all.

Surfing Events

Taranaki hosts an array of surfing events throughout the year, attracting surfers and spectators from around the globe. One of the most popular is the Taranaki Surf Festival, a week-long celebration of the surf culture featuring music, art, food, and of course, surfing. Other notable events include the Barrett Homes Open, the New Zealand Longboard and SUP Open, and the Surfing Taranaki Cup.

Surf Competitions

Taranaki is also home to some of the most prestigious surf competitions in the world. The most notable is the TSB Bank Surf Festival, which includes the TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival and the TSB Bank Men’s Surf Festival. These events attract some of the best surfers from around the globe, competing for a chance to win the championship title and valuable points on the World Surf League rankings.

Other notable competitions include the Rip Curl Pro Taranaki and the NZ Surf Series, which feature both men’s and women’s divisions.

So pack your bags, grab your surfboard, and head to Taranaki to witness some of the most exciting surfing events and competitions in the world!

Surf Schools and Lessons in Taranaki

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, Taranaki offers a range of surf schools and lessons to cater to your needs. Take advantage of the region’s world-class breaks and learn from professional instructors who can help you improve your skills and technique.

Surf Schools in Taranaki

If you are new to surfing, joining a surf school is a great way to learn the basics while staying safe in the water. Here are some of the most popular surf schools in Taranaki:

Name of Surf SchoolLocationWhat they offer
Taranaki Surf AcademyNew PlymouthGroup and private lessons, surfboard and wetsuit rental, video analysis
Aotearoa Surf SchoolOpunakeGroup and private lessons, surfboard and wetsuit rental, beachside accommodation
Saltwater EcoOkatoGroup and private lessons, surfboard and wetsuit rental, yoga classes

Surf Lessons in Taranaki

If you already have some experience in surfing but want to improve your skills, taking individual lessons can help you focus on specific areas where you need more practice. Here are some of the best surf lesson providers in Taranaki:

  • Taranaki Surf Coaching: Offers individual coaching sessions with personalized feedback and analysis
  • Local Board Co: Specializes in coaching for competitive surfing, with experienced coaches who have competed at national and international levels
  • South Taranaki Club: Run by local surfers who provide group and individual coaching for all levels of surfers

Whatever your level of experience, taking a surf lesson or joining a surf school is a great way to improve your skills and make the most of the world-class surf breaks in Taranaki. So why not book your lesson today and get ready to catch some incredible waves!

Exploring Taranaki’s Surfing History

Did you know that Taranaki has a rich history of surfing that dates back several decades? The region has long been a popular destination for surfers, attracting pioneers of the sport from all around the world.

One of the earliest surfing clubs in New Zealand was formed in Taranaki in the 1960s, and since then, the region has continued to play an important role in the development and evolution of surfing in the country.

The famous surf breaks at Stent Road, Fitzroy Beach, and Back Beach have all been surfed by local legends and international surfers alike, cementing Taranaki’s reputation as one of the best surfing destinations in the world.

The Pioneers of Taranaki Surfing

One of the most significant figures in Taranaki surfing history is Bruce Brown, an American filmmaker who spent time in the region in the 1960s. Brown’s iconic film, The Endless Summer, helped popularize surfing around the world and showcased the incredible waves on offer in Taranaki.

Another important figure in Taranaki surfing history is Peter Byers, who founded the Taranaki Surfing Association in the 1970s. Byers was instrumental in organizing surfing competitions and events in the region, which helped foster a sense of community among local surfers.

Famous Surf Breaks in Taranaki

Taranaki is home to several famous surf breaks that have become synonymous with the region’s surfing culture. One of the most well-known spots is Stent Road, which offers a consistently good wave that is suitable for all levels of surfers.

Fitzroy Beach is another popular spot, known for its challenging waves and powerful swells. Experienced surfers flock to this beach to test their skills and ride some of the most impressive waves in the region.

Back Beach is a great spot for beginner and intermediate surfers, with smaller waves that are perfect for practicing your skills. The beach is also known for its scenic beauty, with stunning views of Mount Taranaki and the rugged coastline.

The Evolution of Surfing in Taranaki

Over the years, surfing in Taranaki has continued to evolve and change, with new surf breaks being discovered and new surfers pushing the limits of what is possible on a wave.

The region has also embraced surfing as a key part of its cultural identity, with events like the annual Taranaki Surf Festival celebrating the sport and its impact on the local community.

Today, Taranaki remains a world-class surfing destination, attracting surfers from around the globe who come to experience the incredible waves, stunning scenery, and unique surfing culture that can only be found in this special region.

Best Beachside Accommodation in Taranaki

After a long day of catching waves, you’ll need a comfortable place to rest your head. Luckily, Taranaki offers a range of beachside accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences.

The Waterfront Hotel

If you’re looking for luxury beachside accommodation, The Waterfront Hotel should be at the top of your list. This 4-star hotel offers stunning ocean views, spacious rooms, and modern amenities. Plus, it’s conveniently located in the heart of New Plymouth, so you’ll be close to all the surf spots and other attractions.

King and Queen Hotel Suites

For a more boutique experience, check out the King and Queen Hotel Suites. This beautiful hotel is located just a short walk from the beach and offers stylish suites with comfortable beds and upscale furnishings. The staff is also incredibly friendly and accommodating, making your stay as pleasant as possible.

Top Ten Holiday Park

If you’re traveling on a budget, consider staying at the Top Ten Holiday Park. This beachside campground offers a range of affordable accommodation options, including cabins, chalets, and campsites. There’s also a swimming pool and playground on site, making it a great option for families.

The Devon Hotel

The Devon Hotel is another great option for those seeking beachside accommodation in Taranaki. This 4-star hotel features spacious rooms with balconies overlooking the ocean, as well as an onsite restaurant and bar. The hotel is located just a short drive from some of the region’s best surf spots.

No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning natural beauty and world-class surf of Taranaki, New Plymouth. Book your beachside accommodation now and get ready to experience the ultimate surf getaway.

Taranaki’s Vibrant Surfing Community

One of the best things about surfing in Taranaki is the vibrant surfing community that you’ll become a part of. With a strong surfing culture and a supportive community, you’ll feel right at home in the waves.

Local surf clubs are a great way to meet other surfers and get involved in the community. The Taranaki Surf Riders Club and the East End Boardriders Club are two popular options. They organize events, workshops, and competitions for members throughout the year.

There are also a number of initiatives aimed at preserving Taranaki’s stunning coastline and marine life. The Sustainable Coastlines organization offers beach clean-up events and educational programs to promote responsible surfing practices.

And let’s not forget about the après-surf scene in Taranaki. With a variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants located near the beach, you’ll be able to relax and refuel after a day in the water.

So come and experience the welcoming and tight-knit surfing community in Taranaki. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you’ll be greeted with open arms and endless opportunities to improve your skills and make new friends.

Other Activities and Attractions in Taranaki

While Taranaki is best known for its world-class surf breaks, there are plenty of other activities and attractions to explore in the area. Here are just a few ideas to add to your itinerary:


Take on the challenge of hiking Mount Taranaki, a dormant volcano that offers breathtaking views from its summit. For a less strenuous hike, try the scenic tracks at Sugar Loaf Islands or the Pouakai Ranges.

Art and Culture

Experience the vibrant art scene in New Plymouth, with galleries and museums showcasing contemporary and traditional Maori art. Don’t miss the Len Lye Centre, a unique museum featuring kinetic sculptures and experimental film.

Food and Drink

Sample the local cuisine at one of Taranaki’s many restaurants and cafes. Indulge in fresh seafood, gourmet burgers, and craft beer while taking in the stunning coastal views.

Nature and Wildlife

Visit the Pukeiti Rhododendron Gardens to see stunning displays of colorful flowers and native plants. Take a guided tour to see the incredible marine life at the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, where you can spot dolphins, seals, and even whales.

Family-Friendly Activities

Bring the kids for a day of fun at Pukekura Park, a picturesque park with playgrounds, paddle boats, and a beautiful botanical garden. Take a dip at the popular water park, Wai Splash, or explore the interactive exhibits at the Puke Ariki Museum.

With so much to see and do in Taranaki, your surfing adventure is just the beginning. Book your trip today and discover the many attractions and activities that make this region a must-visit destination.


Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to pack your bags and head to Taranaki for an unforgettable surfing experience. From the challenging waves at Fitzroy Beach to the consistently good waves at Back Beach, there’s a surf spot for every level of surfing ability. Remember to stay safe while surfing by understanding rips and currents and wearing the right safety equipment.

While you’re in Taranaki, make sure to explore the vibrant surfing community and attend some of the exciting surfing events and competitions that take place throughout the year. And when you need a break from surfing, be sure to check out other activities and attractions in the area, such as hiking Mount Taranaki and indulging in the local cuisine.

So what are you waiting for?

Book your trip to Taranaki, New Plymouth today, and get ready for the surfing adventure of a lifetime!


Is Taranaki a good destination for surfing?

Absolutely! Taranaki is known for its world-class surf breaks and stunning coastline, making it a dream destination for surfers of all levels.

What are some of the best surf spots in Taranaki?

Taranaki offers an array of amazing surf spots. Some favorites include Stent Road, Fitzroy Beach, Back Beach, and Graveyards.

How can I stay safe while surfing in Taranaki?

It’s important to prioritize safety while surfing. Make sure you understand rips and currents, wear appropriate safety equipment, and respect local surf etiquette.

Are there any surfing events or competitions in Taranaki?

Yes, Taranaki hosts various surfing events and competitions throughout the year. Stay tuned for upcoming contests, festivals, and gatherings.

Where can I find surf schools and lessons in Taranaki?

Taranaki has several surf schools and instructors ready to help beginners or improve the skills of experienced surfers. Check out the best places to learn and enhance your surfing abilities.

What is the surfing history like in Taranaki?

Taranaki has a rich surfing history that dates back several decades. Learn about the pioneers of Taranaki surfing, famous surf breaks, and the evolution of the sport in this region.

Where can I find beachside accommodation in Taranaki?

If you’re looking for beachside accommodations, Taranaki has a range of options to choose from. Whether you prefer a surf lodge or a luxury beach resort, we’ll recommend the best places for your surfing getaway.

What is the surfing community like in Taranaki?

Taranaki boasts a vibrant surfing community. Discover local surf clubs, events, and initiatives that contribute to the unique surfing culture in this region.

What other activities and attractions are there in Taranaki?

Taranaki offers more than just incredible surf. Explore activities such as hiking Mount Taranaki, visiting art galleries in New Plymouth, and indulging in the local cuisine.

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