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Pouawa Beach break guidePhoto by: Rob Davies

Pouawa Beach Surf Guide

Pouawa Beach in Gisborne is a reasonably exposed beach break that has quite reliable surf and can work at any time of the year. The best wind direction is from the northwest. Most of the surf here comes from groundswells and the ideal swell direction is from the east northeast. Waves at the beach are both lefts and rights. Best around mid tide when the tide is rising. Sometimes crowded. Beware of rips and rocks.

Pouawa Beach Spot Info

Icon beachBeachIcon  s33.0
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
fairly consistent
16.5°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Pouawa Beach:

The best conditions reported for surf at Pouawa Beach occur when a East-northeast swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the Northwest.

Surf Forecasts:

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

decemberBest Season: summer
The best time of year for surfing Pouawa Beach with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Summer and most often the month of December. Clean surfable waves are typically found 33% of the time in December while 33% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 34% 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 Pouawa Beach Location Map

Interactive Pouawa Beach 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 Pouawa Beach is Gisborne Airport (GIS) in New Zealand, 16 km (10 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Pouawa Beach is Whakatane Airport (WHK), also in New Zealand, 135 km (84 miles) away.

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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.
Pouawa Beach Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Thursday, 19 May 2022, 02:02 Local Time
Thursday 19
Wave (m)
Period (s) 10 10 10 10
Wind (km/h)
Wind State cross-
off cross-

Swell History at Pouawa Beach

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

Wind History at Pouawa Beach

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

Pouawa Beach 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 2 votes.
  • Overall:Icon  s33.0
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s43.5
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s43.5
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s33.0
  • Wind and Kite Surfing:Icon  s44.0
  • Crowds:Icon  s43.5
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
Icon avatar
Rob Davies from New Zealand
“Pouawa doesn't see very many surfers. The 15 minute drive here from Gisborne passes right by the famous breaks of Wainui and Makorori, so few bother coming this far, or if they are heading up the coast this far it is usually to get to some place like Tolaga Bay to get a better wind angle.

It's a pristine and totally unspoiled beach, backed by dunes, and actually not a bad place to surf. It is marginally more sheltered from the NE breeze that blows out most north Gisborne breaks on hot summer afternoons. In truth those are the only conditions when I have surfed it, so quite possibly when there is a NW offshore wind and/or a solid swell, it will have a very different (better?) character. When that happens it's so good at the breaks nearer town I just don't get this far. I really must make the effort one day.

Based on several small-swell summer visits with a cross-off NE wind, it seems that it is best at low-tide when it offers are relatively soft right-hander breaking on a sandbar in front of the Powawa stream. Lefts and rights to the south of here tend to be bigger and heavier but are more wind affected and seem prone to closing out.

There are good spots to park up overnight and permitted freedom camping in summer along the south end of the bay. There is even a new public toilet. From Pouawa stream and north for about 5km is a marine reserve with a total fishing ban. As a result, this is the best snorkelling for miles around with heaps of young cray, abundant reef and school fish, octopus and stingrays. When the swell is tiny and the wind has been NW for a couple days the water clears up nicely. Walk around the headland north and explore the marine reserve for another beach that is surfed even less often than Pouawa about a mile away. Take water.”

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

Discover surf breaks near Pouawa Beach. Click below to view there surf guides.

Wave Buoys Nearest To Pouawa Beach: