Bashing into the wind, Campsites, Oakura, Taranaki

The Surf Highway

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.
:: uge

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Ahu Ahu villas, tucked away on the end of Ahu Ahu Beach


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

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You think you're local beach is busy, come surf ours


Yesterday ended up being quite a special day down the beach with awesome colours.
Don’t believe me? Watch this 1 min fly around Bondi…you’ll see. (around 30,000 have already watched this video our on social channels!)
Not much happening down the beach this morning surfwise – 1footish. Sunshine was out earlier, clouding over now.
A cooler and showery weekend ahead. Nothing that interesting on the swell radar – as you were.
:: uge

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Twin Peaks, sunny today? Really?


If you stood next to me this morning on the beach (in the rain)…and I told you it was going to be perfectly sunny and 27 degrees today, you’d think I was a can short of a six-pack.
Well, it’s true (Sunshine, not that I’m a can short). It’s gonna happen. 10 am onwards is a beach day.
There is a dribbly NE wind swell in town, Bondi was 0.5 foot as it faces mega south and neglects this swell origin. Bra or Tama will have some flimsy wind chop which may classify as surfable, but I wouldn’t get too excited.
As I finish typing this post I can see sunshine starting to kick into my skylight, right on time!
:: uge

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Take the mal for a spin this morning

Move along…

Some mornings just don’t offer much to shoot. Making something interesting from the mundane can be a real challenge. Today’s the well is dry!
The beach was quite empty, the skies a shade of dark grey. The surf was a lacking 1 foot with some junk on it. Tough.
We have  NE swell today which should pick up to head high tonight. Tomorrow is going to be a fantastic sunny beach day and 27 bangers. R.D.O for sure.
:: uge

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Drifters, Bondi Beach this morning


Obviously, you weren’t meant to receive 2 x Aquabumps daily emails in the one day! Oops!
Yesterday’s daily post was stuck in the cogs of cyberspace overnight…and was just released before this one. I’ve put in a call to Gates and told him to sort his [email protected]#$T out.
Ok, now, where was I? Beach. Well, it wasn’t a memorable morning really. Began with rain, the surf looks a surfable junkie 2-3 foot. Crowds were minimal and sky grey. I got all fancy with old lenses to try and trick up the photos a bit for ya.
Thursday looks like a cracker beach day (27*). Take the day off.
:: uge (yooj)

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Empty rights, South Bondage


Hi, hello, hey, yo, how are you?
Today we’ve been blessed with a solid SE swell. Bondi Beach is lighting up with 3-5.2 footers. It looked fun, but not proper cranking. Loads of wash throughs and closeouts to negotiate.
After a rainy start, we look set to bake up to 29 salubrious degrees. Hit the beach!
Oh, and it’s gonna get REAL windy. WSW 30 knots due for this arvo, so you’ll probably find your washing in your neighbour’s yard.
We are looking for staff to man our Bondi Beach Gallery (selling stuff). If you want to join our dynamic team, read this job description and fire us ya amazing 1 pager resume.
:: uge

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Matt Pearson tucked inside tightly into this Bondi wedgey


To begin our daily chat today I have a video from my most recent trip, Nihiwatu (Sumba Indonesia). WATCH NOW (hey, it’s only 2 mins, if you think you don’t have time to watch a 2 min vid then you need a holiday!)
Proper good times this morning. The swell has kicked around to the south and streaming nicely in Bondi’s bay. Suns out, banks are on, surfaces are clean, it’s Friday – alleluia!
It is going to be shortlived though, as this swell will drop tonight.
It’s true…we are recruiting salespeople for our Bondi Beach gallery floor. Summer is the busy season for us. Read this job description, if it sounds like you, then send us a CV (1 pager). Just to re-iterate, this job is in our gallery, nah, not roaming around the world taking the occasional photo whilst sipping cocktails. That’s jobs gone.
:: uge

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Ian Wallace, one of the oldest groms on the beach


The swell has gone NE and Bondi is lacking. The great thing about Sydney is that we have beaches that face all kinds of directions, so if you just pop over the hill you will find something breaking.
Tamarama had a few nuggets on the low tide. The tide is filling up now so I am pretty sure that will be all over. Tama hates the higher tides.
Tomorrow we should be back in south swells…
Have fun.
:: uge

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