Information on sailing sites around N.Z.

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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 499 15
Info Centre: Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Park, Ph 03 214 6243.
Local Shop: Howard Anderson. 204 Spey St. Ph 03 214 4283


Chop jumpingSlalomRace boardLearnerRiggingHIRE
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 Anderson's.
In Detail:

  • 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 useful here.


Wave sailingChop jumping
20 km long sandy beach. Rig and launch anywhere.
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.
Watch: -
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.


Wave sailingChop jumpingRigging
Shell/sand beach with tarseal and grass to rig on. Beach is steep at high tide which makes access more difficult.
Suits: Wavesailing. Intermediate.....
Wind: E, SW, W, NW. Up to 40 knots in summer.
Water: Waves are 2 -3 metres, real clean and peeling to the left.
Watch: -
In Detail:

  • 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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