Adjacent to Wellington Airport is Lyall Bay. It is the country’s most historical surfing venue and where, in 1915, the Hawaiian and 5-time Olympic swimming medalist Duke Kahanamoku first introduced Kiwis to surfing. There are a number of named breaks within the sandy bay with varying degrees of difficulty. The premier surf break in the bay is the “The Corner”, a left hander located next to the 500 m of reclaimed foreshore at the eastern end of the bay.
In 2015, plans to extend the airport runway by 350 m were announced. Initial impact studies have indicated that the surfability of waves will be decreased. It has been proposed that a ‘focus’ reef be constructed in the middle of the bay to mitigate the loss of surfing amenity that the airport extension will cause.
Photo by Paul Kennedy