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Wharariki Beach break guidePhoto by: Rob Davies

Wharariki Beach Surf Guide

Wairaiki Beach in North West Coast is an exposed beach break that has very consistent surf and works all around the year. Works best in offshore winds from the southeast. Windswells and groundswells in equal measure and the ideal swell angle is from the west southwest. Waves at the beach break both left and right. Unlikely to be too crowded, even when the surf is up. Take care of rips and rocks.

Wharariki Beach Spot Info

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Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
13.9°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Wharariki Beach:

The best conditions reported for surf at Wharariki Beach occur when a Northwest swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the South.

Surf Forecasts:

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

juneBest Season: winter
The best time of year for surfing Wharariki Beach with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Winter and most often the month of June. Clean surfable waves are typically found 37% of the time in June while 57% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 6% 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 Wharariki Beach Location Map

Interactive Wharariki 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 Wharariki Beach is Nelson Airport (NSN) in New Zealand, 100 km (62 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Wharariki Beach is Woodbourne Airport (BHE), also in New Zealand, 151 km (94 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.
Wharariki Beach Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Tuesday, 27 September 2022, 05:53 Local Time
Tuesday 27
Wave (m)
Period (s) 14 7 8 8
Wind (km/h)
Wind State cross cross-

Swell History at Wharariki Beach

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

Wind History at Wharariki Beach

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

Wharariki 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 4 votes.
  • Overall:Icon  s33.0
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s33.0
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s43.7
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s33.0
  • Wind and Kite Surfing:Icon  s11.0
  • Crowds:Icon  s55.0
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
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Rob Davies from New Zealand
“Having lived in Golden Bay off and on, Wharariki is one of only a few local surf options that do not require a big trip along the dirt road down to Patarau and beyond. Even then, you still have to drive a few kms on dirt and walk for 20 minutes to get to Wharariki.

There is no denying it is a stunning, truly iconic spot. Most Kiwis will recognise the Archway Islands, just offshore, from New Zealand calendars and coffee-table books but very few will have visited.

It feels remote and exposed; intimidating even when it is stormy, and whenever I have surfed there; about 10 times; I have been alone in the water apart from numerous fur seals and the odd Little Blue Penguin. On about 10 other occasions I have walked as far as here and not even bothered going in because conditions were not what I hoped for; either too big or too choppy; usually both.

All in all, I have found it to be a frustrating beach to surf because it just seems to be so prone to onshore winds. I have only ever surfed it properly offshore once. It was very small that day but it has such a nice shape that I keep going back there hoping for a bigger version. I have had slightly better luck at nearby Ferguson's and at Farewell Spot itself. These are the only other two options that are reasonably accessible to Golden Bay inhabitants. I've never seen anyone else in at those two either.

Even if the weather station at nearby Farewell Spit suggests it should be cross-off or even straight off, the local topography seems to turn it into a cross-on. It's just one of those unfortunate places. It faces almost due north which you would imagine would be good direction given the frequency of SW winds over NZ, but at this spot, those SW winds will be turned into choppy Westerlies and days that are forecast calm almost never are. If you want to surf it, I imagine you would have a much better chance staying over and getting in early am, but if you are going to that much trouble you may as well head to the vastly better spots beyond Westhaven.

The waves at Wharariki are punchy enough even in a prevailing SW swell that has had to wrap through 50 degrees to get here, but when that swell comes from anywhere West of North it gets way too big and you tend to end up surfing waves that have reformed. On days like that, outside looks like it is half way to the horizon and the place to be is on the other side of Takaka Hill, near Nelson city.

At this remote corner of NZ which feels like the end of the world; the closest place to get a snack or a hot drink is at the Paddle Crab kitchen. Head back to Puponga and turn left. The lively Mussel Inn is much better, but it is a long drive back into Golden Bay. The good news is that if you surf Wharariki, you are going to have to pass the Mussel Inn twice!”

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

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

Wave Buoys Nearest To Wharariki Beach: