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Whakatane Heads ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.6
Consistency of Surf: 1.9
Difficulty Level: 3.6
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.9

Overall: 3.2

See all 18 ratings

Based on 8 votes. Vote

Surf Report Feed

Whakatane Heads Surf Guide

Whakatane Heads in Bay of Plenty is an exposed beach and reef break that has reasonably consistent surf and can work at any time of the year. Works best in offshore winds from the south. Tends to receive distant groundswells and the ideal swell direction is from the north northeast. A right hand reef. Best around low tide. When the surf is up, it can get quite busy in the water. Take care of rips, rocks and obstacles.

Whakatane Heads Spot Info

Icon beachBeach and reefIcon  s33.2
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
fairly consistent
19.3°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Whakatane Heads:

The best conditions reported for surf at Whakatane Heads 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 Whakatane Heads (for consistent clean waves)?

februaryBest Season: autumn
The best time of year for surfing Whakatane Heads with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Autumn and most often the month of February. Clean surfable waves are typically found 27% of the time in February while 55% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 18% 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 Whakatane Heads Location Map

Interactive Whakatane Heads 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 Whakatane Heads is Whakatane Airport (WHK) in New Zealand, 8 km (5 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Whakatane Heads is Rotorua Airport (ROT), also in New Zealand, 63 km (39 miles) away.

Icon breakBreak
Icon legend buoysLive Wave Height (m)
Icon legend windLive Wind Speed (km/h)
Please note that some surf spot locations are approximate to protect their exact location while others are not shown at close zoom level.
Whakatane Heads Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Tuesday, 20 April 2021, 13:01 Local Time
Tuesday 20Wed
Wave (m) 0.3
Period (s) 10 5 6 7
Wind (km/h) 15
NE 25
NE 30
NE 35
Wind State cross-

Swell History at Whakatane Heads

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

Wind History at Whakatane Heads

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

Whakatane Heads 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 8 votes.
  • Overall:Icon  s33.2
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s43.6
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s21.9
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s43.6
  • Wind and Kite Surfing:Icon  s11.0
  • Crowds:Icon  s32.9
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
Icon avatar
Raewyn from New Zealand
I was disappointed to read this comment (“Whakatane Heads is the most over rated surf spot in New Zealand. Hardly ever breaks and is polluted beyond a joke.”
MORGZ from NEW ZEALAND - 13 May 2010) especially the bit where it is polluted beyond a joke! Our river and bar entrance is not polluted at all, the water clarity is great. However, if we have a significant rain fall or flood then the river is dirty only because of that factor - then it clears within a few days depending on the severity of the flood. This happens worldwide - any flooding creates a dirty river or sea but it does not mean it is polluted. The duty maritime officer is always picking up any debris that has come down in the floods in our river entrance and around the moorings.

Raewyn, Whakatane”

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