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Must-See Locales That Offer More Than Big Waves

 - May 15, 2015
References: facebook & airnewzealand
Brought to you by Air New Zealand

Somewhere, a killer surf town that not only boasts magical waves but also features cozy local accommodations, super-friendly locals, tasty food, ample activities and lively nightlife, exists. Still deciding where to ride the waves? #1 on our list is New Zealand. Whether you head north or south, New Zealand is known for its ludicrously long un-crowded points, reefs and beach breaks. The result? Year-round waves from the roaring 40s as swells pump up from the Antarctic.

Located on the Waikato coast, pint-sized Raglan has been known as one of the best surf spots in the world for years. You may recognize the name from the surfing-documentary Endless Summer; surfers have made Raglan their go-to spot thanks to its epic left-hand break (it’s one of the longest in the world), and incredible hollow waves.

Set around two picturesque harbors, Auckland is comprised of a string of black sand beaches. 40km from Auckland, surfers will find Piha, New Zealand’s most-visited west coast beach. There are left and right-handers at South Piha, as well as a challenging right-hander at North Piha. A little to the south is Karekare Beach, where surfers will experience plenty of waves, with a fast point break at the north point. We highly recommend checking out Bethells Beach for great waves and even better barrels.

Gisborne is the chilliest surf city of them all. It’s known for incredible weather and a large array of breaks to satisfy every surfer’s appetite for adventure. Stop by Waikanae Beach for left and right-hand breaks – it’s perfect for beginners and pros alike. If you’re into something a little more serious, ride on over to Makorori Point – Gisborne’s most famous (and did we mention dreamy?) surf spot. Don’t miss the stunning beaches of the East Cape, where you’ll find a gorgeous series of beach breaks stretching from Tolaga all the way to Hicks Bays.

Although Wellington attracts wild weather, it also draws southerly swells that make the best breaks – ever. Boasting a rugged, exposed coastline, its most popular spot is The Wall – a quick break created by a sand break that’s been known to carry riders right back to the beach.

New Plymoth
Head to Fitzroy Beach where you’ll come face-to-face with epic drops, super-fast barrels, and adrenaline pumping rides that’ll leave you begging for more. The true gem is Stent Road - once you’re there, hop on your board and experience consistently good surf and an insane right-hander that breaks right over a shallow reef.

You can also experience epic waves at some of the top surfing destinations through the eyes of the pros in Air New Zealand’s new safety video, ‘Safety Safari.’ During the one-of-a-kind experience, passengers will feel the rush of adrenaline and the crash of the waves as they are taken on a candid and vivid trip with international surfing super stars like Mick Fanning, Ricardo Christie, and Alana Blanchard. Watch below.