Information on sailing sites around N.Z.
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*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 499 22
Info Centre: Aotea Square, Auckland City. Ph 09 366 6888.
Local Shops:

  • Windscene Mission Bay. 10 Patterson Ave. Ph 09 528 5277
  • Pt Chevalier Sailboards. 5 Raymond St. Ph 09 815 0683


Wave sailingChop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingCamping
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 reef
Watch: Swimmers and other boats in weekend. Beach break and rips in rough weather. Rocky reef with sharp oysters at mid-low tide.
In Detail:

  • 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.


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingHIRE
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 weekends.
Hire School: Available from Windscene Mission Bay.
In Detail:

  • 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!


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingHIRE
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 tides.
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 Sailboards.

  • 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 required.

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