There are a couple of good surf breaks around punakaiki, when the wind and swell are cooperating.
Punakaiki's surf options can offer the travelling surfer an experiance never to forget. The West Coast of New Zealand almost always has a large swell running, big waves are a regular occurence and surfers usually have to wait for the swell to drop and clean up before thay can paddle out. Because The West coast has the highest rainfall in NZ, the rivers pump bulk murky water into the ocean, creating awesome sandbanks at the river mouths, which can produce some nice barrels, when not in flood. You are almost guarenteed to have a wave to yourself, and apart from the abundant marine wildlife (sharks included) it can get quite lonely.
The beach to the north of the blow holes has a good lefthander, that can produce a nice wave when the rest of the coast is too small. This wave is perfectly situated with the 100m limestone cliffs, for shelter, and a rainforest backdrop. You can park up the hill at the pancake rockscarpark, or even better, park down at the pub.
Two km south at Punakaiki River is a couple of waves, the best entry point is on the north side of the river mouth. Paddle out into sucky righthand barrels, watch the closeouts, thay can be heavy. The beach south of the Punakaiki River has some premo beach breaks, that work on 3-4 ft swell be careful for the rips, we recommend only experienced surfers tackle this beach.
Check out Punakaiki accommodation for a hot shower and a bed on your Punakaiki surf mission.
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