Hickory Bay Spot Guide

About Hickory Bay

A session at Hickory encapsulates most of the features that come to mind when thinking of the quintessential south island surf trip: amazing scenery, plenty of driving, the use of binoculars to check the surf from afar, gravel roads, cold water, and a wee tramp through pastures of sheep and their plentiful droppings, and of course, some quality waves.

Located on the eastern edge of the Banks Peninsula, formed from the twin craters of two ancient volcanoes, the Bay faces southeast and is well protected by high cliffs at both ends end of the beach. From Christchurch it's a good hour's drive by the time you've driven through, up, down and around the Bank's Peninsula. However, it's a popular spot as it often provides waves in conditions that aren't suitable elsewhere.

You can have a rough guess at the quality of the waves from the sealed road at the top of the ridge. It's worth doing this, as it'll save you the effort of driving the narrow gravel road to the car park at the bottom where you'll need to still to walk a few minutes before you can check the surf. Even then, the waves are over a kilometer away across a farm, a small stream and a driftwood-backed beach.

Source: Hickory Bay Surf Guide

Ability Level

Intermediate

Beg Int Adv

Intermediate

Local Vibe

Welcoming

Welcoming Intimidating

Mellow.

Crowd Factor

Moderate

Mellow Heavy

Empty midweek - can get busy-ish on weekends.

Spot Rating

Fun

Poor Perfect

Can get good on a proper swell, otherwise an average, consistent beachbreak.

Shoulder Burn

Light

Light Exhausting

Not much.

Water Quality

Clean

Clean Dirty

Good

Additional Information

Hazards

Turning your back on the ocean.

Access

An easy ten-minute walk from the car park across a farm.

Bring Your

Shortboard

Seabed

Sand

Best Season

All year, smaller in summer

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos