Surf's up at south's best breaks

19:26, Sep 11 2013
The Colac Bay surfer
The Colac Bay surfer.

In Surfing New Zealand, Pita Ngaru and Mark Airy note 11 worthy Southland surfing spots.

From east to west these are Porpoise Bay, Haldane Bay, Oreti Beach, Taramea Bay, Colac Bay, Oraka Point, Beatons Reef, Porridge (near Cosy Nook), Monkey Island reef, Te Waedhwae Bay and Port Craig.

Notable among these is Porridge, of which the authors say "Porridge bears the brunt of deep, southern oceans; long swells that pound this stretch of coast. Big, long, foaming lines wrap down the point, so a super-long left wave breaks with tons of power". Mason Bay on Stewart Island is occasionally surfed as well.

The photo shows the Colac Bay surfer.

The first Maori in the Royal New Zealand Air Force was Leading Aircraftsman George West, of Bluff, who joined in 1935.

Until that time only men of purely English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh blood had been eligible. He had learned to fly after winning a Southland Aero Club scholarship.


He tragically died on a night training flight on May 11, 1939, aged 25 and he is buried in Bluff Cemetery. He is remembered in George West Neighbourhood, one of the major subdivisions in Wigram Skies which is the former Wigram aerodrome.

Southland's longest lodge membership was that of Ella Poole, who had been a member of the Takiara Rebekah Lodge for 79 years at the time of her death aged 97. She had joined the lodge in 1924.

Contrary to general belief, the Sub-Antarctic islands are not part of Southland.

In 1888 the government decided that . . . "Solander Island, Ruapuke Island, the Snares Islets, the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island, the Antipodes Islands, the Bounty Islands and all other islands or islets within the limits of the colony which lie south of the forty-seventh parallel of south latitude are to be deemed to be included within the Land District of Southland".

Today, however, these island groups, with the exception of Ruapuke and the Solander Islands, are not administered as part of Southland, but by the Department of Conservation.

There are two famous groups of five horses in the south.

In Clinton the five horses are the work of Dave Mackie who sculpted them from wire netting, steel and concrete, putting about 200 hours of work into each. This splendid quintet soundly disproves the claim that Clinton is a one-horse town.

The other prominent horse sculptures are at Sir Michael Hill's golf course and sculpture park near Queenstown. The five huge, iron Clydesdales, cast in China, stand 2.6m high and weigh one and a half tonnes each.

About The South
Lloyd Esler
15 Mahuri Rd,
Otatara, RD 9,
Phone-fax (03) 213 0404

The Southland Times