Flax leaves in front of a winter mountain, Mt Taranaki  Josh Woskett

Surf Highway 45

Surf Highway 45 hugs the Taranaki coastline, the unique shape of which offers 180 degrees worth of surf swells. This makes the route one of New Zealand’s best surfing and windsurfing locations.

The entire route is just over 100kms long, meaning you can tackle it in a day, or take a few days to really enjoy this fascinating region.


Surf Highway 45 follows the stunning Taranaki coastline through many of NZ's best surfing spots, including Ohawe Beach, Opunake, Okato and Oakura. Surfing options abound; beginners can take a lesson with a local or ride tandem with an instructor. More experienced surfers are free to explore - maybe hire an off-road vehicle to reach those secluded waves.

Surf Breaks En Route

  • Ohawe Beach - right-hander, fast
  • Mangahume - A-frame, challenging wave in NE wind
  • The Dumps - best at lower tide
  • Opunake Beach - right-hander, high-tide, offshore NE wind
  • Arawhata Road - right break; left and right in middle of bay
  • Kina Road - popular windsurfing spot 
  • Stent Road - five spots, working on all tides, offshore NE
  • Graveyards - left-hander, SE wind
  • Rocky Point - Rocky Rights (NE wind) and Rocky Lefts (SE wind)
  • Weld Road - good longboard spot
  • Ahu Ahu Road - gentle left-hander and fast right-hander
  • Oakura Beach - local club spot, beach break
  • Back Beach - West-facing, bars change frequently
  • East End Beach - NW-facing, best at mid-high tide
  • Fitzroy Beach - local club spot, barrels, right and left-hander
  • Waiwhakaiho River Mouth & Groyne - left and right off A-frame peak

Egmont National Park

It’s not all sea and surfing along the highway - visitors will be impressed with Egmont National Park, and its stunning centrepiece – the conical Mount Taranaki. The mountain is visited by over 300,000 people a year, and experienced climbers can ascend the peak. Egmont National Park also offers a wide range of walks, the beautiful Dawson’s Falls, and a ski field.

New Plymouth

The region's main centre of New Plymouth also has a wealth of activities. Visit the acclaimed Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, which houses the works of kinetic sculptor Len Lye, or take a look at his most accessible work – the beautiful 45 metre high Wind Wand.



 Port Taranaki with Mt Taranaki and sunset in the background.  Josh Woskett



 Surfing in Taranaki - home of Surf Highway 45.  © Josh Woskett












 Mt Taranaki, Egmont National Park.  Stratford District Council




 New Plymouth Coastal Walkway.  Josh Woskett

Route Map

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Route Facts

  • Approx. 100kms long
  • One way
  • Start: New Plymouth or Hawera 
  • End: Hawera or New Plymouth 
  • Coastline, surf breaks, scenery, nature, national park, city life 

Other Touring Routes