State Highway 45 around Taranaki is dubbed ‘The Surf Highway’ due to the vast number of surf breaks wrapping this corner of the North Island. I can see that with the right conditions there is 100 km’s of coastline to surf…most probably on your own.
I’ve got a nasty south-west gale terrorizing the area today, limiting surf options to just a protected few. Right out front of where I am staying is really the best-protected corner break, called ‘Campsites’. There’s a little rip bowl feeding a windy right, it’s around head high and got a few nice sections on it. The water is a bit cool, most wear 3/3 with hoods. Booties and gloves not really required. In summer, for a few months of the year you can get away with a vest and boardies! Winter is when it pumps here though…then you’d need some serious rubber coverage.
Taranaki reminds me of Margaret River WA. Farms and country waves – the only difference is there’s a huge mountain towering over the coast called Mount Taranaki, which I haven’t seen yet as it’s been smothered with clouds. Tonight I am gonna climb it or around it to try and catch a glimpse of the peak. Gonna be chilly with howling winds!
I hear the weather has been amazing back in Sydney. Enjoy.
Every year I fly over that little ditch to New Zealand. This year I’m in the Taranaki area, where the mountains meet the coast. (The wild west coast of the North Island).
The area has two main attractions –
Obviously Mt Taranaki, an enormous, stunningly symmetrical volcanic cone towering 2.5kms over the rogue coast.
The 105-kilometre Surf Highway 45 which starts from the nearest city New Plymouth and runs down around the bottom of the North Island. Point breaks are plentiful, swell is consistent, crowds are non-existent. In fact, it’s quite rare to see any more than two people on a peak so far. Just take any farm road off the highway leading to the coast and you’ll probably find a little wave at the end. Just ask permission before running across paddocks and close the farm gates so the livestock doesn’t go loose. I’ve unfortunately timed my trip with some howling cross shore winds…just waiting for them to subside.
For me, the part I love about New Zealand is the people. They are ridiculously hospitable and friendly to travellers. Everyone is genuinely interested in what you’re up to, where you’re going…offering guidance or local insights. Choice!
Thanks Air New Zealand transporting me and all my gear across the Tasman and Ahu Ahu Beach Villas so I can sleep to the sound of the ocean.
Chur, :: uge