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Tauranga proud to once again host the largest junior surf lifesaving event in Aotearoa

Mount Maunganui has proudly hosted Ocean’s 24: Festival of Junior Lifesaving, New Zealand’s largest junior surf lifesaving event for over two decades, solidifying Tauranga as one of the country’s top surf lifesaving locations.

Opening today and running until Sunday, this event serves as a successful developmental ground for the next generation of surf lifesaving athletes, spotlighting Mount Maunganui Main Beach as a vital hub for nurturing young talent in the sport.

The Oceans event has evolved to become a generational tradition, drawing families together from all over New Zealand as multiple generations have been part of this competition, and the spirit of surf lifesaving excellence is passed on.

Participants often see Ocean’s as an aspirational stepping-stone and go on to compete in other high-level events, such as the upcoming New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships also held in Mount Maunganui in March, contributing to the enduring legacy of the sport.

Nelita Byrne, Manager Venues & Events, Tauranga City Council, said, “We are committed to nurturing the growth and success of surf lifesaving”.

“Acknowledging the profound significance of this sport and the critical importance of water safety in our community, our commitment goes beyond financial support – it’s a dedication to an enduring legacy for surf lifesaving in Tauranga, a legacy that resonates with our community,” she says.

“It’s fantastic to see families returning to visit the region and compete in the competition and the junior members come through each generation. With over 700 competitors with their families, we will see large numbers of ocean and beach lovers.”

Photo credit: Jamie Troughton, Dscribe Media Services.

The Oceans event receives support from Tauranga City Council’s Legacy Event Fund, in conjunction with the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund, which collectively play a crucial role in ensuring the success of this event.

Additionally, the event underscores the vital importance of water safety in our coastal environment.

Participants, through friendly competition, not only develop valuable skills but also gain heightened awareness, fostering a deeper understanding of how to stay safe in our coastal waters.

Byrne concludes, “We are proud custodians of the Oceans event, and we know this funding plays an instrumental role, not just in supporting, but in anchoring the prosperity of this remarkable competition – a contribution that echoes through the many generations of surf lifesaving in our community.”


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