Mangawhai Camp


Junior Surf Camp at Mangawhai Heads

The annual Red Beach Junior Surf Camp at Mangawhai Heads is the highlight of the Red Beach Junior Surf calendar. The camp takes place in January each year and is a great way to meet other families in the club, for kids to learn new skills and, most importantly, have fun. No other club in the country runs anything quite like it.

2022 Junior Surf Camp 

For the 2021/22 surf lifesaving season, Junior Surf Camp will run from Friday January 7 to Tuesday January 17, 2022

The camp format will be as follows:

  • Friday Jan 7: Check in; first training session in the afternoon.
  • Saturday Jan 8: Northern Region Interclub Carnival at Waipu Cove.
  • Sunday Jan 10: Surf training sessions, morning and afternoon.
  • Monday Jan 11: Survivor, followed by the traditional Survivor breakfast.
  • Tuesday Jan 12: Check out.

Campsite bookings need to be made directly with the Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park. Sites at the campground are limited but may become available if there are any cancellations. Otherwise, we encourage families to organise alternative accommodation at Mangawhai Heads, or come up for a day trip – the annual Survivor competition is not to be missed!

Campground details: Phone (09) 431 4675 or email and tell them you are with Red Beach. You can also see if there are sites available on their website:  

The process for registering for Survivor will be communicated at the start of the 2021-22 season.

The programme

Training sessions are run by the club’s senior athletes and include estuary swims and knee boarding in the surf on the far side of the sand dunes. For the younger children, activities include boogey boarding and jumping off the estuary pontoon.

Activities are designed for all age and ability levels. It’s a chance for kids to gain confidence in a variety of conditions, including bigger surf than we usually get at Red Beach.

Fun for all the family

The rest of the day is free time. Children have access to all the club equipment and most bring their bikes so are riding, swimming, fishing, paddling and kayaking all day. For parents, camp is also a social time with special get-togethers for the adults, with and without their children.


Without a doubt, the highlight of the week is the legendary Survivor competition. Each of the year’s rookies leads a mixed-age team around an obstacle course that goes across the estuary and through the sand dunes.

The challenges each year are different but rookies need to show real leadership to get their whole team safely around the course using a range of surf lifesaving skills. The Survivor trophy is hotly-contested and every junior member at Red Beach wants to be able to say they have won Survivor.

For the younger, unbadged children there is also a Mini-Survivor with simpler challenges and a boat ride across the estuary instead of swimming. The event culminates in an enormous communal breakfast on the beach.

Check out a video from a previous season's Survivor below to see what it's all about.