Somewhere over the hill, beyond the gorge and down winding gravel tracks lies the raw and rugged beach of Ruapuke. It's the place to go when there's not quite enough swell to wind down the points of Raglan or the devil wind is chopping up the faces. It's not unlike the back beaches you'd find anywhere on the East Coast of Australia except the sand is volcanic and black. We'd heard whispers on the road that New Zealand's West Coast beach breaks had good sand and had been cooking all week. By Australian standards, the two hour drive from East to West Coast New Zealand is a zip up the road and some people's commutes in Sydney would take longer. But over here, the locals wouldn't take the drive unless they knew it was going to be all-time. Lucky for us it was only about a 7 out of 10 meaning we had 4ft+ left and right rip-bowls pretty much to ourselves.