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Whangamoa break guidePhoto by: Rob Davies

Whangamoa Surf Guide

Whangamoa in Nelson is a reasonably exposed River Bar break that does not work very often. Spring and Summer provide the favoured conditions. The best wind direction is from the south southeast. Tends to receive distant groundswells and the best swell direction is from the north.. Rarely crowded here. Dangerous rips are a hazard of surfing here.

Whangamoa Spot Info

Icon sandbar  redSandbarIcon  s32.6
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
12.5°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Whangamoa:

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

Surf Forecasts:

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

augustBest Season: winter
The best time of year for surfing Whangamoa with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Winter and most often the month of August. Clean surfable waves are typically found 26% of the time in August while 42% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 32% 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 Whangamoa Location Map

Interactive Whangamoa 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 Whangamoa is Nelson Airport (NSN) in New Zealand, 33 km (20 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Whangamoa is Woodbourne Airport (BHE), also in New Zealand, 55 km (34 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.
Whangamoa Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Friday, 19 August 2022, 14:40 Local Time
Friday 19Sat
Wave (m)
Period (s) 9 8 8 9
Wind (km/h)
Wind State cross-
on cross-

Swell History at Whangamoa

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

Wind History at Whangamoa

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

Whangamoa 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  s32.6
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s22.0
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s32.5
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s33.0
  • Wind and Kite Surfing:Icon  s11.0
  • Crowds:Icon  s54.5
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
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Rob Davies from New Zealand
“Remote Whangamoa is the most exposed beach on the Nelson side of Tasman Bay and the surf here is usually a bit bigger than the breaks near Nelson city. When a NW swell is bit too small for Schnapper, Whangamoa is the last resort this side of the Takaka Hill. On the day I surfed it Whangamoa was well overhead while Schnapper, which I surfed a few hours earlier, was barely waist to shoulder high.

Access is the big negative for Whangamoa. After several years of being closed due to logging operations it was available to surfers once again in 2008. The logging track was in good shape when we visted and we did not need 4WD but this may change and in any case 4WD would be safer after heavy rain.

We couldn't find any paths down from the dirt road and so it was a bit of a bush bash through the Manuka and on steep ground it would be really easy to slip and ding your board. The last bit, a steep scramble in Gorse, Flax, long grass and eventually rock was a bit exposed too. I don't know if there is a better path down to the beach or whether it has simply become overgrown during the 2 years when Whangamoa was out of bounds.

We had a very light onshore when we were there but the wave quality was pretty good considering. Quite a powerful and heavy wave breaks in front of the rivermouth but when we were there it was not as good as Delaware Bay (it probably varies a lot with the shape of the bar). Even so, well worth a visit, especially when the other Nelson breaks are a bit small. A stunningly beautiful spot for a weekend camping trip. Take fishing rod.”

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

Discover surf breaks near Whangamoa. Click below to view there surf guides.

Wave Buoys Nearest To Whangamoa: