10 Reasons why surfing in NZ is just better!
I don’t want to be THAT guy…you know the one, the Kiwi who has moved over to Australia for a better life – where the wages are higher, jobs more plentiful and the weather is (generally) more tolerable. The Kiwi who wont miss an opportunity to let anyone, who unwittingly falls within earshot, know of how much better New Zealand is than Australia.
So now that I have pulled you into my web, here is a list of reasons why you should head to New Zealand at the first opportunity to surf the waves of this magical, green paradise.
1. NZ is comparatively smaller than Australia
This place is a group of islands with swell windows at all points of the compass. You can be hit with onshore, 8 foot washing machine conditions on one coast and drive 20 minutes to the opposite coast for, albeit smaller, perfectly offshore peelers winding down the beach as far as the eye can see.
Being smaller than its larger neighbour Australia, New Zealand lineups generally aren’t as busy….
2. Wave Variety
Long, long, long lefts or perfect beachies and the occasional right-hand point break. AND, you’re not battling every man and his golden retriever for them.
3. Less Surfers
Unlike the coastal metropolis’s of Aussie where surfing seems to be a main pastime for those that are within striking distance of a beach, most of the New Zealand coast is rural therefore less concentration of frothers and kooks. I rocked up to a famous left-hand point break on one trip back across the ditch, only to be surfing with one other guy. He was a teacher and wasn’t in class because it was school holidays. “Where were all the surfers?!” I asked him. I just got a shoulder shrug in reply.
4. Friendly Locals
If you buy that local dairy farmer a beer down at the pub he might like you enough to let you through to the back paddock where that empty left is that you have heard rumours about…
Locals in NZ are cruisey as. Don’t get me wrong, if you blatantly drop in on someone or burn them in some way, don’t expect a warm and fuzzy embrace.
Just be cool, be friendly and like most places in the world, be respectful of their home. You will be handsomely rewarded with waves!
5. Great Food
Nothing like a mince, cheese ‘n’ bacon pie washed down with L&P from a small town bakery after a good session. Beats a Red Bull and stale chicko roll from the 7-11 servo.
Restaurant’s vary from town to town. In places like Raglan, you can expect your standard coastal surfing/fishing town with a tight nit community, local shops full of locals, bustling markets and small restaurants catering to various cuisines.
New Zealand has pretty much everything Australia has to offer, but its cheaper and served with a smile.
6. Cheap Beer, Cheap Food
Must be a tax thing. Don’t know. But beer is as plentiful and available as fresh country air is. The wine is supposed to be pretty good too according to my more civilised friends.
As discussed in point 5. The food is also amazing and cheap. You just need to know where to look. If you are nice enough to one of those friendly locals, you might get a few tips.
I’m not talking about the Hobbit…. although that’s a pretty cool tour.
I’m talking about the rich heritage of the native Maori inhabitants who have a proud culture that has been integrated into modern New Zealand very successfully.
Whether you’re trying to pronounce names of popular tourist sites, reading signage on public or government buildings or watching the news on telly, you should be able to leave New Zealand with at least a few words of Maori in your vocabulary. Although known for their warrior past, the Maori’s are super-welcoming and are frequently in the line-ups doing the hooting when someone takes a bomb.
OK, New Zealand can get a bit wild in the weather stakes but this is what makes the place a great destination. It’s what makes for the beautiful green pastures, the soaring snow-topped mountains and emerald water of empty beaches and rocky point breaks.
The weather can however work in your favour. New Zeland is one of the only countries on earth where you can surf all morning, drive a few hours to the Alps and go snowboarding/skiing in the afternoon/evening.
The old surf/snow weekender was a regular activity growing up in NZ.
We don’t hear too much about New Zealand politics in Australia but it is interesting to note how much Prime Minister Adern is liked within her own country as well as internationally. She is like that Mum who calmly dresses your grazed knee after falling off your skatey when you tried to ollie over your cousin lying in the driveway that time. Whereas in Australia….
One tip, do not mention the under arm bowling incident of ’81. If you let it slip just walk away, don’t turn your back until you’re out the door then run for your car. Other than that you will probably spend hours reliving great Bledisloe Cup matches on DVD that almost every household in NZ seem to keep on the mantlepiece next to their Aunties ashes. Replays of famous matches the mighty All – Blacks have won regularly play on TV and superstars of the game are in every second advertisement. Rugby is law in NZ, if you’re lucky enough to be there during a game, head to the local bar/pub and enjoy every minute.
Actually, I’m making myself all homesick. Seems I need to get my dose of Kiwi-ana to tide me over for a few more years while I battle it out with the hordes here on the Goldy. Looking forward to the borders re-opening and sampling some of the cool, fresh wave juice very soon!