The Four Best Places to Catch a Wave in Tauranga

It’s no question that the Bay of Plenty has a reputation for its glowing blue waters, long stretching beaches and beautiful white breaks. And it can’t be denied that a lot of the local tourism to Tauranga comes from those looking to wax their boards and head out and catch some waves! If that’s exactly what you’re here to do, then read on, because we have done some research and come to a consensus on the top five best spots in the area to catch great waves!

Mount Maunganui Main Beach

The main beach at Mount Maunganui is your typical east coast beach with beautiful white sand. It’s extremely popular so be sure to be aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for fellow surfers and swimmers. This surf spot is brilliant because it’s great for all surfers, whether you’re a wee grommet or a hardened and knowledgeable expert, you can snare a good right point break off the point at Moturiki Island, also known as the “blowhole”, at the south end of the beach. Another bonus for this location is that up on the shore, there are heaps of surf shops around that often have deals and surf hire on the off chance you weren’t able to take your own gear.


This is a lovely, safe environment for all levels of surfing enthusiasts to get together and enjoy – which means if you’re new to the sport you can concentrate on getting your bearings in a great practice setting. The wave is punchy and can get hollow but supplies a good bit of fun. Located a mere 10 minutes from Tauranga so expect it to be busy with fellow surfers as well as swimmers in the popular summer season.


This surf break is for the more experience and for those willing to make a small donation as this surf break is on a private beach and surfers have to pay a small fee, into an honesty box, for the privilege of riding the waves here. It’s a good spot for the intermediate to expert class of surfers, and you have to keep your wits about you for rocks at some point. The wave itself is punchy and powerful with steep drop-ins and hollow sections. There are several peaks along the beach to choose from, with both right and left handers to ride, depending on your preference.

Whakatane Heads

Our final spot is one of the most popular surf spots in the region, so being knowledgeable of the local surf etiquette and respectful of the locals is key as it can get inundated with surfers. The break is located on the west side of the mouth to the Whakatane River, which means you actually have to paddle across the river itself. Be aware that there are strong currents to be navigated, as well as passing boats. However, once you’ve passed to the other side, this cracking right-hander with its fast and hollow, great performance wave is well worth the effort.