New Zealand

New Zealand

Surfing guide
LAST UPDATED 14/09/2008
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Level of surfing


Quality of surf


Call code


Net code





15,134 km


Temperate with sharp regional contrasts


Extreme Cold

Best Months

May - September




New Zealand Dollar (NZD) New Zealand dollars per US dollar - 1.5408 (2006)

Time Zone


Special Requirements



EugeneZelenko: Location map for New Zealand, 19 December 2004

New Zealand is an island/country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main divisions (the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands. It is also commonly known as Aotearoa. Situated close to 2000 kilometres southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, its closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga.

New Zealand is a modern by sparsely populated country, it boasts natural beauty and a wide range of water and adventure activites.


-xfi-: Flag of Maori, 9 March 2006

New Zealand is one of the most recently settled major landmasses. The first settlers were Eastern Polynesians who came to New Zealand, probably in a series of migrations, sometime between around 700 and 2000 years ago. Over the following centuries these settlers developed into a distinct culture now known as Māori.

The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman and his crew in 1642. Māori killed several of the crew and no Europeans returned to New Zealand until British explorer James Cook's voyage of 1768–71.


Tiles: Wellington from Kelburn Cable Car, 1 January 2004

There are international airports at Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Visitors must have a valid passport to enter the country, though a visa is not required by Australian passport holders.

When travelling around New Zealand, flying by plane could often be cheaper than driving or taking the train, especially if crossing between the North and South Islands is required. Alternatively, buses are a cheap and environmentally friendly option. Most roads in New Zealand are narrow and winding so travelling long distances on a bus can be a safe and relaxing way to travel.

Hitchhiking around New Zealand is generally possible on most inter-city and major rural roads. However, it is illegal to hitchhike on motorways and illegal for motorists to stop there to pick you up.


Hautala: Satellite image of New Zealand in December 2002, 3 May 2005

The climate throughout the New Zealand is mild and temperate, varing in different parts of the country with temperatures rarely falling below 0 °C or rising above 30°C in the more populated regions.

Conditions vary sharply from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to semi-arid in the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland.
Christchurch, being one of the most populated cities is the  driest city of New Zealand, receiving only 640mm of rain per year.

what to pack

Arpingstone: Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing at Kemble Airfield, 19 June 2006

All major cities would pretty much have all that you should need for your visit. If you are looking to be totally prepared for the moment you step in, make sure you bring some sunscreen, insect repellant and protective clothing accessories such as hats, sunglasses, etc.

You really wont have any problems in picking up any surf related consumables such as legropes, wax or even a new board when you are in the major cities of the country.

where to stay

Astrotrain: New Zealand House, Haymarket, 11 November 2006

New Zealand offers a wide range of accommodation. There are international hotels, luxury lodges, bed & breakfasts, motels and backpackers/youth hostels.

Free camping is also available in many places. Unless there is a "no camping" sign somewhere on the land, it is common to find a tent or hammock for the night in many areas off the road.

Hosted luxury lodges are the top-end equivalent of the bed-and-breakfast market and New Zealand has upwards of 40 internationally recognised lodges. Per capita, that's probably the highest in the world. They tend to be situated away from cities, though some are right in the heart of the major centres, and can be difficult to get to.

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