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


Beg Int Adv


Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating


Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Empty midweek - can get busy-ish on weekends.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

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

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Not much.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty


Additional Information


Turning your back on the ocean.


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

Bring Your




Best Season

All year, smaller in summer

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos