Surfing in Southland

Any Kiwi surfer will tell you the deep south of New Zealand has some of the country's best surf spots. Clear sunny days bring glassy, uncrowded waves… you can see the attraction.

The rugged southeast coast of the country is largely undiscovered in surfing terms, and there are plenty of exciting waves to be had. There's something for beginners and experts, from fun city surf to long breaks and challenging reef waves. Southern Ocean swells lash the beaches, regularly reaching up to 6m.

Porpoise Bay has gentle surf, making it popular with learners, and a surf school runs out of the Curio campground seven days a week.

Kaka Point, southeast of Balclutha, offers several breaks and is a great place to start. Continue along the Southern Scenic Route to the Catlins, and you'll find waves to suit all skill levels. The area boasts consistent swells and some of the southern hemisphere's biggest surfing waves. Dolphins and sea lions frequent these waters, so you may have company while you surf.

To the west, in Western Southland, are numerous breaks with consistent surf. Riverton and Colac Bay, where a statue or a surfer riding a wave greets visitors, are great spots. Colac Bay's western point has a superb right-hand point break that is best towards low tide.

Nothing compares to the feeling of catching a wave. It should be a must-do on your next trip.