Surfest set to boost NSW regional economy

Surfest set to boost NSW regional economy

SURFEST Newcastle Australia 2023 presented by Reflections Holiday Parks is back for another year, ready to host hundreds of athletes, their families and supporters from the Asia-Pacific region.

All of whom will help provide a major boost to the NSW regional economy, according to Surfest organiser, Warren Smith.

With a whopping nine events scheduled for the biggest festival of surfing in the southern hemisphere, the 37th annual Surfest will offer three World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned events featuring many of the best prospective talents in world surfing.

The events are scheduled across three local government areas, City of Newcastle, Port Stephens, and City of Lake Macquarie.

The three WSL sanctioned events slotted for this year’s Surfest include the Qualifying Series (QS)5000 Burton Automotive Pro and the QS5000 Speaking in Colour Women’s Pro. Both offer a prize purse of $50,000 and are scheduled to take place at national surfing reserve, Merewether beach.

The Lake Mac City Pro Junior will be held at Redhead beach. Surfers from Indonesia, Hawaii and Japan have already registered for the competitions.

Besides the WSL events, Surfest will also offer The Mutual Bank High Schools Challenge, Surfest Indigenous Classic, Evolution Charity Cup, Sanbah Cadet Cup presented by Ocean & Earth, Burton Automotive Wildcard Trials and Lake Mac City Pro Junior Trials.

With the support of the NSW Government through Destination NSW, Surfest will help drive visitor growth to Newcastle and the Hunter.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayo, Nuatali Nelmes said the city is proud to be associated with Surfest.

“As the proud foundation sponsor, City of Newcastle has long enjoyed a long and valuable relationship with Surfest,” Nuatali said.

“Surfest showcases the city’s iconic surf breaks and provides locals, competitors and tourists the opportunity to see some of the best surfers in the world while ensuring local businesses benefit from the influx of people to the wide range of events.

“We look forward to welcoming the surfers, their supporters and sporting fans to our city for this world-renowned event and encourage them to explore everything Newcastle has to offer while they are here.”

Surfest Organiser, Warren Smith said the annual influx of surfers, their families and supporters make a significant difference to the feel of the city.

“We are expecting more than 800 surfers to put on the competitor jersey this year. Those surfers and supporters boost demand for accommodation, eat in local restaurants and both enjoy and contribute to the many aspects of Newcastle’s nighttime economy,” he said.

“Surfest helps make Newcastle feel like the modern global city it is fast emerging to be.”

Surfest commenced recently with the Lake Mac City Pro Junior trials slotted for Redhead beach on Saturday 11 February and Sunday 12 February.

IMAGE | Participant in the Lake Mac City Pro Junior Trial.


Surfest originated in 1985 when Newcastle's movers and shakers were desperately trying to banish the city's grime-ridden industrial image and showcase the unheralded beauty of Newcastle beaches and surf breaks, Those visionaries developed the BHP Steel International Surfest's first incarnation and the richest professional surfing event in the world at that time.

Surfest has since become Australia's largest surfing festival.

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