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.