Marine Weather

If in doubt, don't go out!

New Zealand's weather can be highly unpredictable. Enjoying the sunshine and a light breeze at home is one thing, but the wind can be twice as strong out on the water. We've got you sorted with a range of services to keep you on top of what the weather is doing. 

You can get the latest on your local marine weather situation via:

 A few handy weather tips:

  • Marine forecasts tell you what the weather is expected to do, but there's no guarantee. Keep an eye out for any changes of clouds, wind direction & strength.
  • Tides are important, as when there's wind against the tide, you know to expect a rough sea state (especially in boats under 6m in length)
  • Looking to cross a harbour or river bar? Never cross without the required experience and local knowledge. Check out our 'Raising the Bar' seminars for information to keep you safe.

Coastguard Radio

Wind warnings are broadcast via Coastguard Radio as soon as they're issued from MetService, and every two hours until they are cancelled.

Live weather Broadcasts are broadcast four times daily via Coastguard Radio and cover recreational forecasts, sea areas, tides,navigation warnings and local station notices.

Click here for a list of Coastguard Radio VHF Channels across NZ.

These channels are active from 1 October 2016, see here for details.

Coastguard Nowcasting

Coastguard's Nowcasting service broadcasts real time marine weather information and forecasts. Available continuously via your marine VHF radio and the Coastguard App, Nowcasting includes:

  • Actual wind conditions at various locations (peak gust, average, direction in degrees true)
  • The latest local recreation marine area forecast
  • Tide times and heights at various locations
  • Key safety information

Click here for a list of Coastguard Nowcasting Weather Information Channels across NZ.

These channels are active from 1 October 2016, see here for details.

Coastguard App

The new generation Coastguard App is on its way and will be ready for you to download it early in July!

It's got a boatload of handy features for fishos and boaties, you won't want to leave the dock without this game changer in your pocket. Coastguard Member? You'll be the first to know when the Coastguard App is live. If not, check back here for updates of follow us on Facebook.

We apologise for any hassles but in the meantime our popular Coastguard Nowcasting data is still available for you via your VHF Radio or give our Operations Centre a call on *500 from your mobile.

Nowcasting by Text

Coastguard has historically provided Nowcasting information by text message. Due to the limited use of the service, changing technologies and the rising cost, this service has been discontinued. We apologise for any inconvenience.

You can still access weather information via:

  • Coastguard App – a smartphone-based app that provides 
  • Coastguard Nowcasting – dedicated VHF channels broadcasting real-time marine weather information and forecasts. See the channels here.
  • Coastguard Radio – live weather brodcasts 4x daily. Any wind warnings are broadcast via VHF every 2 hours from issue, until they’re cancelled. Find your local channel here.
  • Radioing in to your local VHF channel and asking for a weather update
  • Calling the Coastguard Operations Centre on *500 
  • Checking the MetService website here.

Text users can download the Coastguard App, available for Apple or Android smartphones, which includes comprehensive forecasts, tidal data and a full outlook nationwide, in an easy to read format. This is on top of the basic features of the Text service, such as wind speed.

Join nearly 9,000 other boaties who use the Coastguard App to make their boating safer and more enjoyable. 

Feature Nowcasting by Text Coastguard App
Average wind speed, peak wind speed, and direction of wind Abbreviated data for a maximum of 7 sites Yes, with data from 53 sites nationwide (allowing you to get a broader overview of the weather)
Wind warnings No Yes, updated as we receive them
Forecast Basic Full coastal and recreational forecasts for today
Swell forecast No Yes
Weekly outlook Basic Full outlook for the following 3 days, updated regularly
Tidal data High tide only, for the requested site Full high and low tide data - can also be viewed for future dates
Updated? By request only - additional texts required Every 5 minutes
User friendly interface? Short text message only National map, optimised for smart phones
Ability to save favourites?  No Yes
Can use anywhere there is cellular coverage? Yes Yes
Cost $1.50 per text for non-members; Up to 50 free texts a year for members $1.29 to download the App*, free access from there

 * If you’ve previously been a regular user of the Nowcasting by Text service, please contact the Coastguard team to receive a promo code to download the Coastguard App for free. Limited to 100 promo codes, offer expires July 31, 2016.



Did you know that MetService provides us with all our marine forecasts? You can go directly to the source by checking out the MetService website here.

 Nowcasting throughout the Northern Region is proudly brought to you by Half Moon Bay Marina. Support with hosting our Nowcasting Infrastructure in the Far North is kindly sponsored by by Huruiki Angus.