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North Beach

North Beach is a popular summer time spot for swimming for many Westport locals and visitors to the area. Surfing and fishing are popular all year round. The safest conditions are found in surf under 1 metre. There is a consistent north going rip associated with the rock wall to the south of the beach. There are no facilities located on the beach.The nearest facilities are 4 kms away in Westport. Access is via a road which travels up the rock wall. A metal road runs the length of the beach and there are a number of other access points from there. Buller Surf Rescue patrols this beach during the weekends of the summer months.

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Family friendly

A good beach for families with some facilities and is patrolled by Surf Lifeguards over summer months. It does have the potential to be dangerous in poor conditions so ensure your family is well prepared.


North beach is one of the most popular beaches for swimming in the Westport area during the summer months. The beach has a gentle slope into the sea. Conditions are safest in surf under 1 metre. With increasing size, dangerous rips and holes develop. The exposed nature of the coastline means conditions are readily changeable and swimmers should be aware of this.There is rarely no waves and a consistent north going rip associated with the southern rock and swimmers should avoid this area. The region of the Orowhiti Rivermouth should also be avoided as it also has consistent rip currents associated with it. North Beach is patrolled during the summer months by volunteer guards of Buller Surf Rescue. There is no SurfLife Saving building on the beach. Rescue equipment is housed at the Westport Police Station.


North Beach has a good left hand break off the rock wall of the Buller river at the southern end of the beach, but due to an inconsistent supply of good swell, it doesn't work well that often. In big seas it closes out, and in smaller seas, the swell is too small for the wave to break. This break is offshore in south to east wind conditions. There is also a beach break. There are normally 2 bars but more can develop in larger seas. The best tide to surf on is varies due to the bars.


Surfcasting at the beach is quite popular at North Beach, as is fishing off the rock wall of the Buller river mouth. Offshore fishing is good, but fishermen and women need to be aware of the changing weather and sea patterns, as conditions can readily become dangerous.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Motorbikes/4WD's



The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at North Beach and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



Patrolled Beach
North Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Sunny with some cloud
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Good. 7/10
Poor. 2/10



Safety at North Beach

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting North Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►

Patrolled Beach

Patrolling club: Buller CRS
Patrolled Beach
North Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Patrol Hours

Buller CRS patrols on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 12:00pm to 5:00pm between 1 January 2020 and 31 January 2020.


Click a safety symbol for more information on the risk

4 simple rules to keep you safe

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting North Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►

The Water Safety Code:

  • Be prepared
  • Watch out for yourself and others
  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits
DIAL 111 in the event of an emergency


North Beach is a golden sand beach located 4 km northeast of Westport. The beach slopes gently into the ocean and is 1600 metres in length. There is a lot of beach at low tide. The beach is bound by the Buller river rock wall to the south and the Orowhiti Rivermouth to the north. This section of coastline is quite exposed, although Cape Foulwind does provide some protection from southerly swell. The beach is backed by a small number of residential homes and swampy areas. Access to the beach is via a road which runs up the rock wall. There is no designated parking area and no public facilities on the beach.

Public Transport

Sorry, we have no public transport information available for this beach.


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Beach Water Quality

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (enterococci) data collected over the last three years. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

Many councils also provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

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