Southland is reputed to be the second
windiest place in NZ. The wind starts in September and just
keeps going through summer. Invercargill is the southernmost
city, and has one of largest populations. From Bluff, you can
catch a ferry to Stewart Island, New Zealands third main island.
Stewart Island is covered in dense bush and is a good place for
hunting, fishing, and tramping. The sun sets at 10pm in summer
giving plenty of daylight hours for windsurfing.
Dial-a-forecast: 0900 999 79 / 0900
Info Centre: Southland Museum and
Art Gallery, Queens Park, Ph 03 214 6243.
Local Shop: Howard Anderson. 204 Spey St. Ph
03 214 4283
Access: 20 km south of the city is a huge bay with a
sandy beach, toilets, grass riggin areas etc. No sailing on
the south side of the channel 1 hour either side of low tide.
Suits: Slalom, longboard. Beginners.....
Wind: W = best. Strength reaches 40 knots in
summer, and up to 20 knots in winter.
Water: Short chop
Watch: Current of up to 2 knots. Sand bar
exposed at low tide.
Hire School: Available from Howard
- Awarua Bay 20 minutes from
Invercargill, a bay about 5 miles long and .75 miles
wide, it's enclosed on all sides. Has a largely
uninterrupted westerly wind, sailable in all
conditions but best outside 1.5 hours outside low
tide. Pack a 3.5! Local windsurfers tend to belong to
and sail from the local yacht club. Main event is at
Labour weekend and the Southland Champs in March.
- Bluff Harbour Mainly sailed in 1/2
to full tide from Green Point or Oyster Factory,
usually on a westerly (side offshore). Local knowlege
Access: 20 km long sandy beach. Rig and launch
Suits: Wavesailing. Intermediate....
Wind: SE,S,SW, NW, N. Strength up to 50
knots in summer, 35 knots in winter.
Water: Waves average 2 metres and can start
1km away from the shore.
In Detail: About 9kms west of Invercargill,
the beach is about 10km long and has waves from 0.5 to 2.5 m
high. Shallow, it works best in a W or SW wind, but
westerlies are bearable. Fine sand gets in places
undesirable, campground about 2km away also hires surf boards
for the quiet days. Watch for them on the water.
Access: Shell/sand beach with tarseal and grass to
rig on. Beach is steep at high tide which makes access more
Suits: Wavesailing. Intermediate.....
Wind: E, SW, W, NW. Up to 40 knots in
Water: Waves are 2 -3 metres, real clean and
peeling to the left.
- Colac Bay 45 minutes drive west,
past Riverton is the local Taranaki,
SW,W and NW all work well and sailing generally
starts at the Trees, about half way along the beach.
Surf size varies along the beach so the size can be
selected to suit, nothing up to 3.5 metres at the
Trees. There is a camp at Colac township but local
farmer tolerates tidy camping in his field. Also good
for surfing, however the really keen go around to
Porridge Beach (big waves, no good for windsurfing).
- Monkey Island A well kept secret,
reputedly better than Colac, this beach also features
a choice of wave sizes. Accomodation can be had in
this area at a cheap but recommended backpackers
between Colac Bay and Monkey Island.
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