Wild day at The Reef, Taranaki, New Zealand


Trip Report

Hunt for that elusive spot of the day...

Saturday morning, the swell dropped heaps from the day before, and the wind was supposed to pick up again. It was only the direction that wasn’t perfect for the usual spots around New Plymouth. But that’s why you are in Taranaki, an exposed 270 degree coastline that offers cross-offshore conditions in nearly any wind direction for those who are prepared to explore off the beaten track.

A forecast for WNW wind means that the place to go is somewhere down the coast. And the further south you go along the famous Surf highway, the stronger the wind, bigger the swell, and more remote the spots get.

Our first port of call was Kina Road. There were some big sets coming through. Unfortunately the wind was fairly light and a bit too onshore. Lacking a better idea where to go, we were hanging out, procrastinating and looking out for every wind shift to the north…. Until the phone rang:

“What’s the wind direction?”

“Bit onshore, looking pretty nasty here in Kina”

“Check out Middleton Reef”

“Middleton Reef? Where is that?”


“Ok, thank you, will do!”

A short drive later, we parked in a sheltered half moon bay. High cliffs all around us, and some big breaking waves over a reef outside the upwind point. Looked awesome, the question was just, how to get there! It didn’t take us long to rig, it took some of us a bit longer to negotiate the shore-break due to the lack of wind on the inside. But eventually we made it and had a ball teasing those monsters. That was until the expected change in weather came and pushed us off the water. We just made it in before torrential rain killed all the wind.

A hot shower and delicious meal back at our beach front accommodation was more than welcomed by everyone.

Check out our Surfari Trips to Taranaki.

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