Victoria Caffrey on a surf adventure in the Catlins in New Zealand

Instead of dreading the arrival of shoulder season, Mons has embraced it with open arms.

The off-season is a time to try new things, drive in the wrong direction and be spontaneous. To provide you with exploration inspiration, we embarked on several shoulder season adventures this year. And of course, we brought along our any-adventure merino favourite; the Mons Royale Raglan. If you want to learn more about our Cold Shoulder series, click here to go back and read our first entry.

Our first journey? A surf adventure on the south coast of New Zealand in the Catlins.

Joey Blatnik on a surf adventure in the Catlins in New Zealand

Arriving late on Friday evening, we discovered that the power had gone out in our little beach house. Nothing a bottle of water and a headlamp can’t fix, but the early Autumn evening temperature did cause some chills to ripple throughout the group. Bundling up, we hunkered down with cards and brews.

Playing cards when the power goes out in the Catlins in New Zealand

The following morning, it was go-time. The swell this time of year in New Zealand has something for every surf level and we were keen to wriggle into our wetsuits. In an effort to stave off the morning bite in the air, we kept our merino on until the very last moment, trying to conserve body heat until we finally zipped up our suits. Then, it was off to the ocean.

Putting on a wetsuit to go surfing in the Catlins in New Zealand
Putting on a wetsuit to go surfing in the Catlins in New Zealand

By some miracle, the fog bank receded into the horizon and the sun blazed down as the best waves rolled in to greet us. We had picked Curio Bay for our surf adventure because it almost always has consistent swells that get smaller as you move into the corner of the bay. Perfect for the beginners in our group, but still fun for the seasoned pros.


Curio Bay is also well-known as the residence of several dolphin pods and seal colonies. Often we’d see a porpoise fin arcing in amongst the waves or a curious seal poking its head out to catch a glimpse of us.


Nothing ends a surf day quite like a glowing New Zealand sunset. We made it just in time for golden hour and popped some champagne and beer, toasting to an incredible day on the water.


As night set in, we headed back to the house where the party continued with a beachfront bonfire. The exertion from the day’s activities soon took its toll and as the fire burned out, so did everyone else.


With an incredible shoulder season adventure in the bag, it almost makes us feel bad for constantly looking forward to winter. In fact, for those of us who are now hooked on surfing, we say winter can wait for a few more weeks – we’ve discovered the fun of liquid water.

Loved reading about this adventure? We’ll be back with another shoulder season experience next week – and we’ll obviously be bringing along the Mons Royale Raglan.



Viva La Raglan - $120.00
Viva La Raglan - $120.00
ICON Raglan LS - $120.00
ICON Raglan LS - $120.00

Photos: Victoria Caffrey

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