surf high­way

New Zealand Surfing - - Showcase -

When a lo­cal coun­cil changes road names to in­cor­po­rate the word Surf, that gives an in­di­ca­tion of just how im­por­tant surf­ing is in the re­gion, so when the Taranaki district coun­cil went about mar­ket­ing Surf High­way 45 to the world in an ef­fort to not only cap­i­talise but to cel­e­brate the re­mark­able surf en­vi­ron­ment and cul­ture they have at their doorstep.

Sit­ting un­der the shadow of Mt Taranaki the coast­line is hemi­spher­i­cally shaped and cov­ers a full range of winds and swell di­rec­tions from 180º. They say ev­ery road you turn down off Surf High­way 45 boasts a qual­ity wave at the end of it, and that is not twist­ing the truth to much. With more surf spots per kilo­me­tre than any­where this side of Hawaii, Taranaki truly is a surf mecca. The main City New Ply­mouth won highly ac­claimed in­ter­na­tional award in 2008 for the worlds most live­able city. Not far from the heart of the city lies the epi­cen­tre of Taranaki surf­ing in the form of Fitzroy Beach a world class beach break which the lo­cal board rid­ers are lucky enough to have beach front club rooms over­look­ing. In fact the board rid­ers move­ment is su­per strong in Taranaki with each board rid­ers club hav­ing clu­b­rooms close or al­most on top of a clas­sic surf break. Waitara, New Ply­mouth, Oakura and Opunake board rid­ers are huge parts of the lo­cal com­mu­nity get­ting in be­hind their tal­ented youth surfers while at the same time keep­ing the cul­ture alive for the older gen­er­a­tion that paved the surf scene in this re­gion. On any given day there is al­ways a wave avail­able at one of the many breaks that dot this coast­line, whether you en­joy surf­ing solo or shar­ing a more well known wave with a few oth­ers, there is gen­er­ally a pretty mel­low vibe in the lineup as long as the num­ber one rule of surf­ing is fol­lowed, re­spect the lo­cals! Which is a world­wide rule all trav­ellers are aware of. The surf re­gion bound­aries are gen­er­ally re­garded as be­ing from Mokau in the north, where in the smaller off­shore con­di­tions you can find a ever chang­ing sand bar with just yourself and a few mates, down to Opunake in the south with its reef/point breaks of Man­gahume's, Sky Wil­liams and Green Meadows. In be­tween these two zones around the tip of the Naki coast­line lie fa­mous waves such as Stent Rd, a clas­sic bowl­ing right han­der and Kumera Patch a long left with walls that seem to run end­lessly. Many of Taranaki's surf breaks lie over pri­vate farm land and per­mis­sion should be sought be­fore ac­cess­ing sev­eral breaks, many landown­ers have gra­ciously pro­vided ac­cess points so please stick to these where avail­able. And just when you thought Taranaki had fin­ished boast­ing about its unique of­fer­ings it is also one of the only places in the world where you can surf and hit the snow dur­ing the win­ter months, many lo­cal surfers live here for that qual­ity and it is not im­pos­si­ble to surf in the morn­ing, head up to the slopes for a few runs and then be back in the wa­ter for the evening glass off. For the trav­el­ling surfer the re­gion has all the ameni­ties needed for surf travel with an abun­dance of ac­com­mo­da­tion of all lev­els, to a thriv­ing surf in­dus­try with world class shapers and surf shops ca­pa­ble of ser­vic­ing your needs.

You Only Live Once. Imag­ine wak­ing up to this line-up at Stent Rd. Ar­guably one of the best waves in New Zealand, the fir­ing right hand point break also has nu­mer­ous other set-ups scat­tered up and down the coast within walk­ing dis­tance. You could live the Stent Rd dream. One of the very few homes di­rectly lo­cated in front of the main break is now for sale. A pleas­ant 30 minute drive from the city, you could come home from work and al­ways feel like you are on hol­i­day. A surfers par­adise, re­lax on the deck while watch­ing the waves or just soak up the at­mos­phere and un­wind. Or per­haps you are locked into a ca­reer in an­other city and are look­ing to own a beach re­treat to spend your hol­i­days and long week­ends at. What bet­ter place than on the doorstep of Stent? This four bed­room home was built in 2007 and has al­ways been lived in by pas­sion­ate surfers who have en­joyed the re­lax­ing life­style of­fered here. Lo­cal surfer Jarred Han­cox rates Stent Rd as his favourite wave and has spent decades surf­ing it re­fin­ing his back­hand. Jarred is now a real es­tate agent, work­ing for his Mum Vicky Ashton. They now have this house listed on the mar­ket, get in touch with them if you are think­ing of mak­ing that dream a re­al­ity.

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