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Motu River Surf Guide

Motu River in East Cape is a reasonably exposed beach break that has fairly consistent surf. Summer offers the best conditions for surfing. The best wind direction is from the south southeast. Groundswells are more common than windswells and the best swell direction is from the north northeast.. Even when there are waves, it's not likley to be crowded. Surfing here means negotiating dangerous rips.

Motu River Spot Info

Icon sandbar  redSandbarIcon  s43.5
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
16.5°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Motu River:

The best conditions reported for surf at Motu River occur when a North-northeast swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the South.

Surf Forecasts:

What's the best time of year to surf Motu River (for consistent clean waves)?

januaryBest Season: autumn
The best time of year for surfing Motu River with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Autumn and most often the month of January. Clean surfable waves are typically found 8% of the time in January while 23% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 69% of the time it is considered too small by most surfers but may still be OK for beginners and groms at times.
Surfable waves that hold up well for longer rides in prevailing cross-offshore, offshore or light wind conditions.
blown out
Surfable sized waves that are of poorer quality due to prevailing onshore, cross-onshore or windy conditions (may be preferable for kitesurfing).
too small
Waves usually considered too small for good surf. Some wave-magnet breaks may still work though if conditions are right (on occasion).

Explore Motu River Location Map

Interactive Motu River surf break location map. View information about nearby surf breaks, their wave consistency and rating compared to other spots in the region. Current swell conditions from local buoys are shown along with live wind speed and direction from nearby weather stations. Click icons on the map for more detail. The closest passenger airport to Motu River is Whakatane Airport (WHK) in New Zealand, 60 km (37 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Motu River is Gisborne Airport (GIS), also in New Zealand, 96 km (60 miles) away.

Icon breakBreak
Icon legend buoysLive Wave Height (m)
Icon legend windLive Wind Speed (km/h)
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Please note that some surf spot locations are approximate to protect their exact location while others are not shown at close zoom level.
Motu River Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Sunday, 3 July 2022, 09:05 Local Time
Sunday 03
Wave (m)
Period (s) 10 10 10 10
Wind (km/h)
Wind State glass glass cross-

Swell History at Motu River

Surf stats for Motu River, see the swell variation by month or season on the history page here.

Wind History at Motu River

Wind stats for Motu River, see the variation in direction and stength by month or season on the history page here.

Motu River Reviews:

Interactive Porthcawl Point location map. View nearby buoy information, live wind conditions and surrounding roads, paths and locations to help find new breaks. Click the buoys or wind icon to view more information.

Based on 1 vote.
  • Overall:Icon  s43.5
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s33.0
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s33.0
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s44.0
  • Crowds:Icon  s44.0
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
Icon avatar
Anna from New Zealand
“We scored some really amazing waves here all to ourselves... BUT found out why when we returned to find our tires slashed :-( None of the great folks who helped us out were even slightly surprised. And when I mentioned to a fellow surfer that our tires had been slashed he said, “ oh, you can’t park at Motu, didn’t anyone tell you?””

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

Discover surf breaks near Motu River. Click below to view there surf guides.

    • Icon reef  redReef
    Reliability: inconsistent
    7km away
    • Icon pointPoint
    • Icon  s33.4
    Reliability: inconsistent
    9km away
    • Icon point  redPoint
    • Icon  s43.6
    Reliability: rarely breaks
    14km away
    • Icon beach  redBeach
    Reliability: fairly consistent
    31km away
    • Icon beach  redBeach and reef
    Reliability: fairly consistent
    40km away

Wave Buoys Nearest To Motu River: