Kite Buggying in New Zealand

New Zealand is a great place for kite buggying. There are plenty of empty beaches around and since the country consists of two islands in the middle of an ocean, it's usually pretty windy too. Below are listed a number of great places to kite buggy around New Zealand, with the optimum wind direction and the best conditions for buggying. If there are any restrictions on buggying these are mentioned too. <<< Back to Buggy Articles

Brighton Beach, Christchurch

Kite Buggy at Brighton Beach
Best wind direction: North-east sea-breeze, which usually kicks in by the afternoon on most sunny days in the summer
Best time: Three to four hours either side of low-tide
Restrictions: None official, however a verbal agreement with the council that on busy days on the beach kiting should be done south of the life-savers pavilion about 1.5 km south of the pier.
Directions: Once in Christchurch follow signs to the suburb of New Brighton. (Map)
This beach stretches northwards from the suburb of Southshore in Christchurch to the mouth of the Waimakariri river. At low tide it's a 15 km stretch of hard-packed sand great for buggying. There are a couple of obstacles, namely the pier at Brighton plus a couple of storm-water drains a few kms north of the pier. Otherwise it smooth running all the way!

Rabbit Island, Nelson

Best wind direction: Northerly sea-breeze
Best time: Low-tide
Restrictions: A verbal agreement with the local council to confine kiting to the eastern end of the beach
Directions: From Nelson go south-west along State Highway 6. In Richmond, turn right on to State Highway 60 to Motueka. Follow this road for about 6km until you see the Rabbit Island turn off. This turn off leads straight to the beach. (Map)
A lovely beach, although popular in summer. At low tide a great wide expanse of hard-packed sand. Kiting is generally confined to the eastern end of the beach so that people can ride their horses at the western end. It can also get busy on the beach close to the car parking area. So although you may need to launch near the car park, it's best to buggy further east away from this area.

Ohope Beach, Ohope

Best wind direction: Northerly sea-breeze
Best time: Low-tide
Restrictions: None
Directions: From Whakatane, follow the signs to Ohope. Probably the best place to unload gear and set up is on Ocean Road. There is a wide expanse of grassy recreation area approximately half way along Ocean Road (loos at the end) where you can park up pretty close to the beach. It's also quieter here than at the bottom of the hill as you drive over from Whakatane. (Map)
This is my local beach at the moment, and it's a great expanse of sand at low-tide stretching for about 10km. The beach can get very busy in the summer especially near the shops at West End and near the camp site about 4 kms east of the shops, so it's best to avoid these areas. Unfortunately the sea-breeze never seems to be dead on-shore, which can be a pain, but when it is on-shore then it's just about as good as anywhere else!

Ngarunui Beach, Raglan (pictured above)

Best wind direction: Westerly
Best time: Low-tide
Restrictions: None
Directions: From Raglan, follow the road over a bridge past the motor-camp. The turn off to the beach is about 3km past the bridge. At the end of the turn off is a car park by the surf life-savers. Park up here and wander down the path with buggy and kites. (Map)
A popular surf spot, I've buggied here once and it was great. The prevailing wind is a westerly, so this spot should be good most of the time. Not a long beach but still enough room to have a good blast.

Ruapuke Beach, Raglan

Best wind direction: South Westerly
Best time: Low-tide
Restrictions: None
Directions: Same directions as for Ngarunui Beach from Raglan, but continue along the coast road ignoring the turn off. The road becomes a gravel road and winds it way around the coastline. About 20 to 30 minutes from Raglan you will reach the Swan Road turnoff. Go down here and after a few minutes you reach a good parking area right by the beach. (Map)
A good spot although the beach is quite short at 2km and does have a couple of streams running across it. However it is worthwhile a visit when the south westerly kicks in.

Mokau Beach, between Te Kuiti and New Plymouth

Best wind direction: Westerly
Best time: Low-tide
Restrictions: None
Directions: Mokau Beach is approximately half-way between New Plymouth and Te Kuiti on State Highway. There's a small camp site with public parking next to it practically on the beach. (Map)
Site of the 2005 Blue Balls Buggy bash, a remote spot with great stretches of beach to play on. Again as the prevailing wind is a westerly, should be a good spot most of the time.

Other spots around New Zealand

All of these I have either heard about thru fellow buggiers or I have seen old TV clips about buggying based at these beaches.

Paraparaumu Beach, another westerly beach, nice and long.
90 Mile Beach, not quite 90 miles long but apparently a great spot for buggying.
Muriwai Beach, home of the annual Moose Meet, a very remote spot west of Auckland. <<< Back to Buggy Articles