Tupira Surf Club is located on the pristine Ulingan Bay, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. It is approximately 180 kilometres north of the Madang township and just under 3 hours drive from Madang Airport, along the beautiful north coast road. Tupira Surf Club was established in 2008, principally under the vision and guidance of Justice Nicholas Kirriwom and with the assistance of the President of the Surf Association of PNG, Mr Andrew Abel. Tupira is Madang Province's first and only surf club and is a full member of the SAPNG.
Justice Nicholas is from Tupira. He was the first Tupira villager to attend university. After graduating from Law School, Nicholas ran his own law firm for many years but at a relatively young age, was appointed a Judge. He is now the third most senior Judge in the PNG judiciary.
The Tupira Surf Club grew from Nicholas’ desire to help his village and the surrounding communities with a sustainable, income-producing initiative. The seed money to establish Tupira came from Nicholas and the shortfall in running costs in the formative years was met by Nicholas. Tupira Surf Club was not established along standard business model lines. It is effectively a collective enterprise and a community development, which is owned and operated by the local villagers, under the guidance of Nicholas as their Patron.
While the villagers have always sought some external assistance in the form of marketing by World Surfaris and camp management/surf guide skills by a western guide, the vast percentage of jobs, tasks and responsibilities at Tupira Surf Club are performed by the locals. They are very proud of their Club and will be keen to ensure you enjoy your stay.
Tupira’s transformation from just an idea into a living breathing entity has been relatively rapid. It truly came of age in March 2017, when it successfully hosted a WSL Longboard event. Remarkably at the time, of the 54 male and female longboarders who competed in the event, not a single one had ever surfed in PNG.
Despite the increased exposure and a keen desire by many more surfers now to surf Tupira, crowding in the surf will never be an issue at Tupira. As a full SAPNG member, Tupira Surf Club has implemented the surf management plan for the Ulingan Bay area. Surfer numbers are capped at a maximum of 20 surfers in the greater area, with just 12 surfers able to stay at Tupira Surf Club. With several accessible breaks within short travel by boat or car, you can enjoy surfing this new frontier with a select few. The breaks are user-friendly in the region with limestone bottoms.
Ulingan Bay is one of the most consistent swell magnets in PNG. Surf literally straight out front at Tupira Right. Or access the other uncrowded breaks in close proximity. Tupira is perfect for your surfing holiday this summer.
The accommodation at Tupira Surf Club is a guesthouse capable of sleeping 12 adults comfortably in 6 x twin rooms. An additional 2 bedroom bungalow capable with private balcony and bathroom has been added recently and can be booked at slightly higher rates for those looking for a little more privacy. The house has high ceilings with thatched roofing that provides good ventilation. The seaside location of the house means that ocean breezes cool things down in the evenings. The facility also has running water pumped down from natural springs for showers and 2 septic toilets. Power is provided by generators. Tupira Surf Club is also fully licensed to serve alcohol and will always have a supply of cold beer for evening relaxation after a hard days surfing, fishing or sightseeing. Back to basic surf camp with surf on your doorstep.
Tupira clients can expect to be served fresh fruit and vegetables, organically grown chicken, freshly caught yellow fin tuna and reef fish (red emperors, GT’s, snappers), the occasional BBQ.
The kitchen girls at Tupira put on a fantastic spread with plenty of hearty food for the hungry surfer. A variety of fresh fish and local produce are features of the menu. The food at Tupira is simple yet hearty and will definitely keep you fuelled in between surf sessions.
You'll find a fully licensed bar serving cold chilled beer. The local brew is called South Pacific Lager in cans or stubbies. Cold drinks such as cokes, lemonades and bottled water are available. 1 x large or 2 x small bottles of spring water are included in the package.
This region is still a relatively new frontier with new breaks being discovered every season. Former Tupira Surf Club manager, Nicki Wynnychuk, was a mad keen explorer and found waves in quite a few nooks and crannies in the area. The contour of this coast means it hosts an abundance of set ups from the classic Tupira point to hollow intense slabs. The first north swells start to roll in around early October and consistently occur until April. During a 1 week stay at Tupira you will surf your brains out and get a good variety of waves. Having the right directly out front is a major bonus and means you are constantly excited about surfing during your holiday.
A brief description of some of the known breaks in the region as follows.
Tupira right: This super fun wave is directly out front of Tupira Surf Camp and is the most consistent wave in the region due to it being a north swell magnet. There is rarely an unrideable day over the October to April period. You can cruise on this wave on your longboard or push your limit and take off deep and get barreled directly off the take off.
Suaru left and right: Incredible location with a fast right on the north side of the village and a classic outer reef left. On any given day this break will be double the size of Tupira. Stunning left hander over shallower reef. This wave is fun at 3 foot, and gets more Indo style over that size. Breaks for about 100m offering barrels on take-off and a long stretched out wall down the line. Not to be underestimated. This picturesque bay is an hour drive west of camp, nestled in a traditional tribal village with million dollar views of the volcano behind.
Tawulte: Is a fun playful sand bottom lefthander that on its day, can break up to 300-400m long. To give you an indication, Tawulte is half the size of Tupira so this option is opened up once Tupira is over 4 foot (2 metre face).
Rurunat: Short punchy lefthander over shallow reef located in a idyllic inlet 10 minutes west of camp. Breaks best on a big swell and at high tide as it offers good barrels on take-off and has a tricky mid-section (which has been described as similar to Race Tracks in Ulluwatu, Indonesia). Conditions and surfer abilities will be assessed before sampling this break.
Due to custodial ownership of land, the rights to surf at certain breaks (and even visit the villages) is determined by the village chiefs. These rights change from year to year and we are always in discussion to bring old and new breaks back in service.
Mick Gordon will be back for another season as the manager/surf guide at Tupira Surf Club for the upcoming season 2018/19:
I have travelled and surfed a lot of places over the past 15 years, mainly through Indonesia. I was finding it hard to come across those unspoiled hidden places to go and enjoy. Then I came across PNG... I have now done 4 trips through this region on land and sea and loved how untouched and remote these areas are... I was hooked instantly. As a travelling surfer this was what I was looking for... a traditional village lifestyle with very little western influences... great surf and no crowds... a true surf adventure. That is why I have decided to stay on for another season in this beautiful country with its diverse culture and of course, amazing waves!
I am looking forward to seeing you all this upcoming season for some uncrowded waves! - Mick Gordon
Fishing and trawling for yellow fin tuna (extra charge for fishing trips by boat), bush walking and bird watching for the famous bird of paradise or just hanging out with the friendly locals at the nearby village. Night activities such as fishing for prawns in the creek will keep you entertained. The fishing is out of this world in PNG with the abundant marine life all but jumping onto your line.
If you are not up to it and just want to relax under the starry night then the smooth melodies of our local north coast bamboo and string bands will enable you to mellow out on the point.