The 6 Best Places You Can Learn To Surf In And Around Auckland

By Urban List Writers
15th Oct 2020

A girl sits on a surf board in the ocean waiting for the next wave.

Surfers are instantly cool, firstly because they can surf, but also because they have constant beach hair, sun kissed skin and look good in a wetsuit. Now, we can’t help with the latter, however, we have your guide to Auckland’s top beach breaks where you can learn to surf and get your daily dose of vitamin D.


Pristine white sand beaches and postcard worthy scenery, Tawharanui is Auckland’s sweet spot for small waves and carrying out your Point Break dreams. Located south of Omaha on the Tawharanui Peninsula, there are several spots to choose from for both right and left-handers. The waves are fun but popular with every man and his dog in the water at high tide, so know your rules, respect the locals or grab a lesson with the team at NZ Surf Academy.


Omaha is the small beach town just north of Tawharanui and the perfect spot to get the whole crew immersed in the surf with Saltwater Eco’s ultimate beginner lessons. Omaha’s beach produces numerous beach breaks from north to south, with the regions most legendary surf break the “Omaha Bar” residing at the northern end.

Te Arai

A quick 60 minutes north of Auckland’s CBD lies Te Arai, providing the most consistent waves on the East Coast. The surf at Te Arai is ideal for beginner to intermediate surfers with fun sized, clean waves that are perfect for learning. The beach itself boasts crystal clear waters, white sand and if you’re lucky, visits from passing by dolphin pods. Aotearoa Surf School are the sole operator at Te Arai and cater to all ages and stages of surfers and even offer accommodation on site for those wanting to get away for the weekend and learn to surf. Excitingly, Aotearoa Surf has recently announced they're partnering with Sustainable Kaipara to reduce their carbon footprint, engage in responsible waste management, support the native wildlife and they've even planted over 2,500 trees in their 25-acre native eco reserve. You can read all about it here.


The waves are larger than its east coast neighbours however with two top-notch surf schools—Piha Surf Academy and Piha Surf School—and numerous good-looking speedo-clad lifeguards at the ready, Piha is Auckland’s diamond in the rough when it comes to learning to surf. It is the most famous of Auckland’s beaches, and offers a good left-hander. This stretch of Wild West coast can be wild, so make sure you know your stuff before hitting the big waves.


If you are looking for the complete learn-to-surf experience, surf shack and surfers dudes included, look no further than the Muriwai Surf School. With enough boards and wetsuits to sport the Kardashian Clan and then some, you can get lessons or take the office for a bit of team building. Located 45 minutes from central Auckland, Muriwai offers a decent wave and the opportunity to take your shaka skills to the next level.


Last but certainly not least comes the OG of surf schools, the Raglan Surf school. For those who don't know, Raglan is home to New Zealand's longest point break, so it's totally worth the two-hour drive from Auckland. The surf school's three-hour beginner's package starts with a theory lesson in their surf shed classroom so that you can get your head around how to stand the hell up, before being shuttled to the beach for your first experience as your instructors cheer you on. Not feeling the group instruction vibes? You can hire your own surf instructor to take you through your paces in a less... public way.

Fancy a nice cool dip? Make a splash at one of Auckland’s best swimming pools.

Image credit: Chris Osmond 

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