Back Index Forward Other useful information
*Auckland's East Coast and Harbour
Auckland, "City of Sails" and now HOME OF THE AMERICA'S
CUP, is New Zealand's biggest city with one million
people. It is a narrow isthmus with literally hundreds of bays to
sail from. Winds are consistent but seldom very strong, although
it does have its days in spring and autumn. Home to world ranked
longboard sailors such as Bruce
and Barbara Kendall, Aaron McIntosh, and Terry Vernon.
Auckland is a sprawling metropolis of suburbs situated on the
narrowest part of New Zealand. Harbour cruising and island
exploring aplenty, good NE seabreezes in summer, predominantly
strongest wind is the SW. A wide choice of accommodation,
windsurfing shops and things to do; Kelly Tarlton's Underwater
World on the Waterfront is well worth a visit.
Dial-a-forecast: 0900 999 90 / 0900
Info Centre: Aotea Square, Auckland
City. Ph 09 366 6888.
- Windscene Mission Bay. 10 Patterson Ave. Ph 09 528 5277
- Pt Chevalier Sailboards. 5 Raymond St. Ph 09 815 0683
1 TAKAPUNA BEACH (+NORTH SHORE
Access: Sandy beach with good parking, rigging areas
and toilets. Motorcamp and concrete ramp at Takapuna.
Suits: All types and levels of windsurfing
depending on conditions.
Wind: N = cross shore. Anything from the
East is onshore. Goes off in a NE storm.
Water: Flat - chop - ocean swell builds over
Watch: Swimmers and other boats in weekend.
Beach break and rips in rough weather. Rocky reef with sharp
oysters at mid-low tide.
- Takapuna.Drive over the Harbour
Bridge onto the North Shore and take the Takapuna
turnoff. There are at least 4 windsurfing
shops on Barry's Pt Road, this is the best place
to shop for gear in the country. Have a chat to
Graham Allen at Hotworks, he makes some excellent
custom boards and really knows what he is talking
about. Takapuna beach is Auckland's wave sailing spot
(although this statement will make a Taranaki sailor smirk).
Seriously though it is a lot of fun in a big
Northerly or NorEaster. Small waves which are great
for jumping, not so great for riding though.
- Milford. Between Takapuna and
Whangaparoa Peninsular, Milford is the best known of
a number of beaches similar to Takapuna, wavesailing
in E or SE winds.
- Whangaporoa Peninsula. Continue up
the North Shore to Orewa. A choice of several spots,
particularly recommended is Shakespeare Park is a SE.
Very scenic. A little bit of surf does sometimes
sneak in when the wind comes from the East.
2 TAMAKI (+WATER FRONT BEACHES)
Access: Just 5 minutes drive from central city, the
beaches are shell and sand and all have good parking, rigging
areas and toilets.
Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners.....
Wind: Good in most wind directions.
Southerlies are offshore and gusty. The summer seabreeze
kicks in at 15 knots from NE.
Water: Flat - medium chop.
Watch: Crowds in summer holidays and
Hire School: Available from Windscene
- Mission Bay. Good for learners and
intermediates with shallow sand beach except at high
tide when there's no beach at all! Great chophopping
in a W, NW, NE and E. Northerly tends to be gusty,
watch the tide! Heaps of parking and grass rigging, windsurf shop and school,
and McDonalds nearby.
- Tamaki Beach Yacht Club. Just west
of Mission Bay, Tamaki has been the focal point of
windsurfing in Auckland from early on, although the
only real thing in it's favour is it's the best spot
in the prevailing SW, and is sailable on all tides.
Slalom sailing is best in a westerly, with a good
chop in strong conditions. Warning, stay off the
yacht club ramp on race days!
Access: Tide goes out over sand/mud - best at
mid-high tide. Good parking/rigging. Access to the Tamaki
River is either from Glendowie Yacht Club or Bucklands Beach.
Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners....
Wind: Best in SW which is strong. Other S -
W directions are good.
Water: Flat, short chop. Waist deep in mid
Watch: Sharp shellfish, a few mudflats which
pop up at low tide. Gets very busy in the Tamaki River.
Strong current also.
Hire School: Available at Pt Chevalier
- Point Chevalier (Pt Chev.) and Herne Bay,Good
in all westerly directions. Take Norwestern Motorway
(Motorway to Helensville). Turn off at Pt Chev, drive
through township and look for water. You will
eventually find a yacht club and windsurfing shop.
Carpark can get crowded on a windy day. Chop hopping
with speed runs possible behind Meola Reef.
- Kohimarama. Kohi provides the safest
learner conditions on the waterfront, shallow and not
strong tidal flows. Slalom conditions similar to
Mission Bay. Good parking and grass rigging make this
a good spot with a school and shop across the road.
Watch out for reef at the western end, and be
courteous to locals as they are not too happy about
windsurfing at present.
- St. Heliers Bay. Similar to
Kohimrama except it's more sheltered in an Easterly.
Good alternative if other beaches are crowded.
- Buckland's Beach/Tamaki River. Best
spot in a S or SW, provides strong clean winds.
Follow the road signs to Howick or alternatively
Glendowie. Low tide exposes a sand bar which smooths
the water considerably for speed sailing (half tide).
Watch for boat traffic in the channel on the Howick
side. Eastern beach on the other side has good chop
hopping on a SE. A lot of grommets (young sailors)
sail here as they have a choice of Buckland's or
Eastern Beach within walking distance. Little
Bucklands Beach has a school and is good for
learners. Avoid drinking the water! The Kendalls and Aaron
McIntosh both grew up here.
5 Waihiki Island
I (Bruce) spent a week there once and sailed 2 days on my
slalom board and one day on my wave board (chop hopping),
worth taking your gear if you're going over. Ferry trip
TopBack Index Forward Other useful information