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Surfest is the largest surfing festival in the southern hemisphere. The event sees over 700 competitors from more than two dozen countries who attend the event.

Surfest will commence at The Lake Mac Festival of Surfing at Redhead Beach and conclude at the scenic Merewether Beach.

Surfest 2024 Newcastle, Dates, Heats, Prize Money, Program & Times

Surfest started in 1985 when Newcastle’s residents were desperately trying to get rid of the industrial image and showcase the beauty of Newcastle’s beaches and surf breaks to people outside the region. The first competition (the BHP Steel International) was the richest professional surfing event in the world at that time. This notoriety brought competitors and spectators in droves to the iconic event, and for more than three decades, Surfest has now become Australia’s largest surfing festival.

Each year, Surfest offers 12 different surfing events during the competition. Visitors coming to spectate should note that this is much more than just a great surfing competition – it is a celebration of the city of Newcastle, its residents and their relationship and culture with the Australian beaches.

Aside from the surfing, a pop-up market runs on selected days during the event. The market showcases a variety of handmade items and art produced by local artists. Of course, a market would not be complete without a diverse range of delicious treats and food from food stalls and restaurants nearby.

The reach of Surfest extends from just those who are present at the event. Through an event webcast, the fun and excitement of Surfest can be shared with the rest of the world. So whether you are a keen surfer or spectator, Surfest has something for everyone to enjoy!

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