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New Zealand Surf Camp

Beginner difficulty
Instruction in English

Along with a great surfing beach, this area is a very special place in New Zealand. It is the home of the world famous Curio Bay Fossil Forest, yellow-eyed penguins and the local Hector's dolphin colony. Nowhere in the world would you get so much in one small place. Come learn to surf in one of the cleanest bays in Southland. First timers are most welcome. Curio Bay is a friendly sandy bottom beach perfectly safe for surfing. Enjoy the windswept coastal trees and the ocean swells crashing over the rocks just outside the bay. Words cannot describe it. It is best to come and find out for yourself.

Meet the instructors

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  • Daily surf instructions
  • Ideal course for beginners
  • Extremely safe beach for learners
  • Discover the incredible wildlife of New Zealand
  • Secluded and tranquil setting to chill out
  • Explore many interesting sites
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner


7 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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This package provides you with 7 nights accommodation in the Penguin Paradise Holiday Lodge, Waikawa. This is a lovely small quiet lodge located 5 minutes from Curio Bay. You can explore the unspoiled natural beauty of the Catlins with the Cathedral Caves, waterfalls, dolphins, sea lions, penguins, the fossil forest and endless isolated beaches. Catlins Surf offers comfortable accommodation with modern facilities, also a lovely open fireplace with wood supplied to keep you warm. There is lots of information from the ex-wildlife ranger owners, a small museum and food nearby. Doubles, twins and shared beds are available. All beds are fully made up. Many shared facilities are available.


Catlins Surf New Zealand aims to provide the best conditions for learners at all levels, who want to progress from long-boards to short-boards and stand-up paddle. However, their focus is on beginners. This package includes everything you need to catch your first wave or to improve your skills to surf with enthusiasm. There will be lessons delivered everyday by qualified teachers who are not only passionate but also friendly and patient. All wetsuits and accessories will be provided. If you are lucky during your surfing lesson, you might be joined by Sammy, the friendly local sea lion, or some of the resident pod of Hector's dolphins who live in this area. They love surfing waves too and are sure to enhance your holiday experience with Catlins Surf. In this package, you will be staying in the lovely small quiet lodge located 5 minutes from Curio Bay.


Nick Smart
Surfing is his life and he has been surfing in the area for over 20 years. He has been working and coaching students at Curio Bay for 10 years. He loves teaching both beginners and learners wanting to progress from long-boards to short-boards or stand-up paddle.


Catlins Surf School operates from the Curio Bay Campground and Store, Curio Bay, South Catlins, New Zealand. Here, you will find the optimal conditions for surfing in New Zealand. Surfers do come from far away to surf the waves here. This bay is the perfect place to learn to surf as there is always small surf in the corner of the bay.



  • Shopping nearby
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Surfing
  • Swimming


  • Beach nearby


  • Board rental

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 surf lessons
  • Surfing equipment
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