Tolaga Bay has a small permanent population. Numbers increase greatly over summer and there are two camping grounds at the beach, one which is free, located directly behind the Surf Life Saving Club and a commercial camping ground which is located at the southern end of the beach. This means swimmers will be scattered over the whole length of the beach. Tolaga Bay has a Surf Life Saving Club that patrols weekends and public holidays during summer. Swimmers need to be aware of the hazards around the wharf and also the large Uawa Rivermouth.
Activities and facilities
- Dog walking
- Horse riding
- Shell fish gathering
- Wind/kite surfing
- Car parking
- Public toilets
Forecast provided by SwellMap.com
Safety at Tolaga Bay
We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Tolaga Bay. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.
Tolaga Bay is NOT CURRENTLY patrolled by Surf Lifeguards in Winter months. In an emergency call 111 and ask for Police assistance. Surf Lifeguard patrols will resume in December 2021.
4 simple rules to keep you safe
We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Tolaga Bay. 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
Tolaga Bay is on State Highway 35 and is situated 56 kilometres north east of Gisborne. The township is on the north bank of the Uawa River near the rivermouth. Tolaga Bay’s most unique feature is the concrete wharf which was completed in 1929 and is New Zealand’s longest. The wharf is located at the southern end of the beach. There is also a camping ground at the south end of the beach. Crossing the bridge going north, leads to the northern end of the beach where Tolaga Bay Surf Life Saving Club is located. Three quarters of the top floor of Tolaga Bay Surf Club was destroyed in a recent storm. Directly behind the Surf Club is the Tolaga Bay Golf course and just north of this is a free camping ground.
Beach Water Quality
Many councils 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.