Don't let the cold weather keep you from the royal waves.

1. Taranaki

Anywhere from New Plymouth to Opunake. Taranaki is one of New Zealand's top surfing destinations. From New Plymouth to the north there are many long beaches and to the south, lava reefs create some ripping waves. See

2. Waikato


Port Waikato or Raglan. Both areas offer great breaks in the cooler months, with plenty of schools to help you get started. Sunset Beach and Whale Bay said to be top breaks. Winter specials now available, see

3. Coromandel

Whangamata to Hot Water Beach. Technically, west coast beaches are better over winter, with more consistent waves, but there are exceptions to every rule, and Coromandel is it. See

4. West Auckland Beaches

If you haven't got time to go further afield, there are some great breaks on Auckland's doorstep. Take your pick of Piha, Muriwai or Karekare, to name just a few. And if you need help getting started, Muriwai and Piha both have good surf schools.