Motunau Beach Spot Guide

About Motunau Beach

Less than an hour's drive north of Christchurch (about 80 km), you'll find the little town of Motunau Beach. You can park in a huge car park near the campground, and a short walk through the trees will reveal a long stretch of beach. Motunau Island, which lies not far offshore, serves to break up the swell just enough to provide some shifting peaks, both lefts and rights. The Motunau rivermouth also helps by providing sediment build up, which can lead to some reasonable sandbars.

Further along the beach, at the western end, you might be lucky enough to score a left-hand point break, which seems to work best on high tides with a south swell. This stretch picks up a lot of southerly swell due to the aspect of the beach and can handle northerlies pretty well too.

Source: Motunau Beach Surf Guide

Ability Level

Beginner

Beg Int Adv

Beginner

Local Vibe

Welcoming

Welcoming Intimidating

Mellow.

Crowd Factor

Mellow

Mellow Heavy

Minimal

Spot Rating

Fun

Poor Perfect

An average zone, but makes up for quality with a variety of waves to surf as well as good consistency.

Shoulder Burn

Medium

Light Exhausting

Only bad when the river produces currents, rips.

Water Quality

Clean

Clean Dirty

A lot of sediment, but not poop, from the river

Additional Information

Hazards

Rip currents.

Access

Easy walk across the dunes from the car park

Bring Your

Shortboard

Seabed

Sand

Best Season

March-May, September-November

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos