Colac Bay / Ōraka

A quirky surfer statue

A giant surfer sculpture with waves is an iconic landmark for this small seaside town in Southland region which offers amazing surfing and some great coastal activities.

Colac Bay / Ōraka is a seaside retreat situated on the bay of the same name, in the South Island of New Zealand. Colac Bay is one of the most popular beaches in Western Southland and provides some of the best ocean surfing. It is about 45 minutes from Invercargill, 30 minutes from Tuatapere and just 10 minutes from Riverton.

Situated outside the Colac Bay Tavern is the iconic statue, depicting a surfer riding a giant wave. It promotes Colac Bay as a great surfing spot with waves for surfers of every ability, that the Colac Bay Classic surf competition is held here annually. The northern end of the bay is great for swimming, horse riding or fishing. The town also have a quirky themed bus stop with painted cartoon characters and a mural depicting the Simpsons school bus.

The area around Colac Bay / Ōraka township has a long history of Māori settlement, and the site of a significant Chinese gold mining village called Canton. From the 1850s onward, European settlers milled timber in the area with the town booming after the arrival of the railway in 1881. Colac Bay war memorial in c1987. In May 2008, The Colac Bay memorial included a plaque to VC winner Jack Daniel Hinton.

The stretch of road between Riverton and Tuatapere is home to many great sights including – Cosy Nook, a cute little seaside village; Riverton’s Te Hikoi Museum and Howells Point Reserve; Orepuki’s Gemstone Beach with colourful stones and Monkey Island’s popular freedom camping spot.


Recommended Visit:
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Southern Scenic Route
Western Southland
Colac Bay


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