West Coast Surf is based at Tauranga Bay, Cape Foulwind. So if Surfing New Zealand is on your bucket list, this is an ideal activity for you.
The beach provides beginners with a safe & invigorating environment to learn in, as well as some world-class waves for the more experienced surfer. West Coast Surf offers lessons for all ages and abilities – as well as wet suit and surf board hire.
West Coast Surf can be found most days through summer at Tauranga Bay. Their well-marked sign written van is usually parked in front of the volley ball and picnic area to the left of the bay. If you have a few hours to spare and the weather is right, a surf lesson at Tauranga Bay is a perfect way to immerse yourself in a popular local activity.
A walk at Tauranga Bay
Max & Jimmy Chu, our resident pooches, love going to Tauranga Bay. Whenever we can, we bundle the dogs into the car for a walk. The dogs get so excited at the beach – they race around after seagulls, swim in the shallows, bound across the rocks when we explore the rock pools and bark at imaginary threats, – there’s something about the beach and having the wind in your fur that makes our little fur babies go a bit crazy. Perhaps it’s just the wide open spaces and sense of freedom of having a beach all to yourself. After all, there’s something special about wandering along a quiet wild West Coast beach.
Through the summer months on most days Mark Perana, Westcoast Surf, can be found at Tauranga Bay. Mark offers surf lessons, wet suit and board hire. He has 30+ years of coaching experience both in the water and on snow, and is very passionate about teaching all levels of surfing – he’s even been the coach for the NZ Surf team in the past.
Given Mark’s depth of experience, I know I’ll be in safe hands if I ever muster up enough courage to give it a go. Lee reckons he’ll be there to capture it all on video, but we’ll see about that!
Interestingly, whilst Tauranga Bay is not as well-known as Raglan (it’s counterpart on the West Coast of the North Island), the surfing can be just as good. The bay is an exposed beach and point break which has reliable surf year round. It’s best when the wind direction is from the east southeast, though it’s able to handle some light onshore wind. The beach breaks consists of lefts and also a left-hand point break. Surf quality is not overly affected by the tide. Submerged rocks are a hazard, so going out with a local or an experienced surf coach like Mark Perana is recommended.
The best time to go surfing
The best time to go surfing at Tauranga Bay is normally on an incoming tide. From 2 hours past low tide onward is ideal, but any time can be worked with.
Below are some links to websites with tide information;