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No matter if you’re craving long, friendly lefts or hollow rights, there’s a wave in Aotearoa New Zealand for you. Our only tip? Pack a wetsuit. The waters of New Zealand never get too warm — a 3/2 mm wetsuit will suffice in summer, but you’ll want something toastier for wintertime.
Ready to paddle out? These are the best surf camps in New Zealand.
The best surf camp on the North Island of New Zealand
Whangamata Beach on the North Island is one of the most stunning beaches in the country. Fortunately, it also happens to have a wave. Book a trip with Surf N Stay New Zealand for an immersive surf culture and camp experience.
Surfers stay in a two-story surf house. Programs run from three to five days and include yoga. Unlike many surf camps, this one caters to more experienced surfers — it’s not just beginner surfers only.
Surf lessons are taught by ISA-certified instructors who cover everything from basic surf theory to proper pop up position to advanced surf skills. Lessons take place in the morning. Beginners will go to the friendly waves just in front of the camp while more experienced surfers can charge left-hand barrels if the conditions align.
Back at the camp, you will retreat in private accommodation with choices ranging from double suites to single room occupancy. All rooms have large glass doors offering a nice view of Whangamata Beach. Their wooden balcony is a great place to talk with fellow surfers. Yoga is often done late in the afternoon.
The camp includes breakfast, coffee, and tea. Other meals aren’t included but there’s a kitchen on site and restaurants nearby.
For an added cost, go on a guided kayak tour to Donut Island. Officially named the Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary, Donut Island is an islet with a hole perfect for paddling and swimming.
The best surf camp in New Zealand for a wilderness adventure.
New Zealand’s South Island is known for its wilderness. Glaciers and lush greenery converge in a mountain range called the Southern Alps. At the end of this mountain range is Fiordland, a jagged coast where freshwater and saltwater mix. This brackish water swells as the mighty waters of the Tasman Sea enter its shallow shores, and it just so happens to be an ideal spot for surfing.
You can experience all this with Awarua Guides. They offer a two- to five-day wilderness adventures in New Zealand’s South Island. Well, it’s really up to you as they are flexible with your schedule and preference.
Your adventure starts with a scenic chopper ride. From Queenstown to Fiordland, you will fly above New Zealand’s wilderness dotted with snow-covered mountains and lush greenery shores.
Upon arrival, expect no buildings or any form of modern infrastructure. Their bedded tent will make your stay comfortable.
The camp has a private chef. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are freshly cooked, served daily, and included in the package.
Once settled down in the camp, your guide will brief you on the stunning attractions and activities that go with it. This trip is not just about surfing in Fiordland but also includes hiking, wild food gathering, and wildlife spotting.
Don’t worry if you’re in the middle of the wilderness. Communication is not an issue as satellite internet is included in the package.
And what’s best about this trip, you will end with the same scenic view as the same chopper takes you back to Queensland.