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*Tauranga/Mt Maunganui

Tauranga is well populated with a busy shipping harbour and an abundance of fruit and vegetable orchards on the outskirts of the town. Just a few minutes away on the new overbridge is Mount Maunganui - a popular holiday spot with access to both harbour and ocean sailing. Take a walk around or up the mountain, or soak in hot pools at the foot of the Mount.

Dial-a-forecast: 0900 999 70 / 0900 499 04
Info Centre: The Strand, Tauranga. Ph 07 578 8103. Salisbury Ave, Mt Maunganui. Ph 07 575 5099.
Local Shop: Assault Windsurf'n'Surf Shop. 24 Pacific Ave, Mt Maunganui. Ph 07 575 7831


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRigging
There are a few different access points to the harbour.

  • 1 from Fergusson Park or Kylim Park west of the town - tidal
  • 2 from the park near downtown Tauranga, called Speed Creek - best place for low tide and SW conditions.
  • 3 Pilot Bay, at the Mt Maunganui end.

All have toilets, and good picnic, rigging and parking areas.
Suits: Slalom (best from Tauranga side), longboard. Beginners......
Wind: Warm 10 - 15 knot seabreezes come in from N,NE. NW blows hard off the mountains and SW blows hard down channel.
Water: Flat - large chop (especially out by harbour entrance).
Watch: River traffic by marina. Stingrays over sand bar. Big ships coming in and out of harbour. Current can get real strong out at harbour entrance.
Hire School: Available at Pilot Bay from the above shop.
In Detail: Most sailing is done in the harbour although cross-onshore wave sailing is sometimes possible (surf is eithier too small or too large). Not generally a high wind location but there's usually a breeze somewhere.

  • Ferguson Park. Ferguson Park on the Matua Peninsula, great sailing at high tide on a SW to NW, channel on the far side produces a good wind swell.
  • Kulum Park. Just south of Fergsuon Park, Kulum Park is a good learners spot in strong wind conditions. High tide is best to avoid carrying gear.
  • Marina "Speed Creek". Works best in a SW at low tide, good speed runs next to exposed sand bar. Remember right of way rules when encountering boaties using ramp. The Marina suits most wind directions and conditions except southerlies, but watch the current!
  • Dive Crescent. Sometimes good in east or SE storms, high tide preferred, pose value sailing under bridge!
  • Welcome Bay Maungatapu, Rotary Park and Tye Park are good for learning short board sailing a couple of hours either side of high tide. Rotary Park is best in a SW, W or NE. Good grass rigging areas.
  • Pilot Bay. Between Mt. Maunganui and the port is the most popular location. Sailable on any tide but high preferred. Hire boards and instruction available. Westerlies variable, SW are more consistent and windswell is good for jumping. Assault shop is nearby. Site of most of the local racing and the National Course Slaloms.
  • Bowentown Entrance. Just north of Katikati is the Bowentown entrance to Tauranga Harbour, best conditions are SW and incoming tide.


Wave sailingChop jumpingSlalomRigging
All the way down the coast from Mt Maunganui runs this sandy ocean beach, curving slightly. Parking areas and toilets at several spots. Best access by Mount Maunganui end.
Suits: Slalom, Wavesailing. Intermediate.....
Wind: N,NW is Ok, cross onshore, slalom. SW = cross shore.
Water: N,NW wind brings small mushy waves better for slalom. SW wind with ocean swell gives best wavesailing conditions
Watch: Mean rips and beach breaks.
In Detail: Coastal sailing can be anywhere from the main beach at Mt Maunganui eastwards.

  • Tay Street. Best in a NW, N or SE. Sandbank can give good waveriding conditions.
  • Papamoa (Taylor Reserve). More consistent in a S and SW, as well as NW, N and SE. Watch the shorebreak!
  • Maketu. Great sideshore conditions in SW (especially after a northerly has produced swells. Approx 40 mins drive from Mt Maketu, popular with some Rotorua and Whakatane sailors. Rocks at Eastern end of beach.
  • Matata/ Thornton. Similar to Papamoa
  • Ohope. Also similar to Papamoa but flatter, more forgiving surf break.
  • Ohiwa Harbour (Ohope). Good learning and slalom conditions in W to SW winds at high tide. Speed channel on Ohiwa side at low tide. Camping, surfcasting, shellfish. Harbour or coastal sailing from campsite.

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