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Sun, Sea Biscuits & Sandcastles: Highlights from the 2024 Upside Beach Day

News   |   March 21st, 2024

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Upside Beach Day Returns for 2024

Upside Beach Day is an annual event held at Kohimarama Beach in Auckland, New Zealand. Organised by Upside Youth Mentoring, this fun event aims to give youth access to activities they may not otherwise experience. The free event allows young people from the Upside community to try water sports like kayaking and get towed on tubes behind powerboats, known as the sea biscuit ride. Along with access to equipment, the event features food, competitions, music and more. After successful events in previous years, Upside Beach Day returned on Saturday 24th February for its 2024 edition. With perfect weather, enthusiastic participants, and smiling volunteers, the stage was set for another memorable Upside Beach Day.

Perfect Weather for the Beach

The 2024 Upside Beach Day was gifted with stunning sunny weather! With barely a cloud in the sky, temperatures soared, however a gentle sea breeze kept the air from getting too muggy. The conditions were ideal for a day outdoors at Kohimarama Beach.  It was a welcome change from the grey, rainy summer days of the previous year where at one stage we though we would have to cancel and we weren't allowed in the water. The bright blue sky and beaming sun put everyone in high spirits and set the tone for a fantastic day.

Great Turnout

We had a fantastic turnout this year. Families, young people, and mentors from all around the community came together for a fun day in the sun. It was heartwarming to see the mix of ages spending quality time with one another while enjoying the beach. From young children building sandcastles with their parents to teens laughing while trying kayaking for the first time to mentors offering words of wisdom while kayaking alongside youth, the event brought everyone closer through shared activities. The great turnout reflects the community's eagerness to participate in this special event that promotes bonding, learning new skills, and appreciating our beautiful beach. Upside Beach Day continues to foster rewarding intergenerational connections year after year.

Water Sports Make a Splash

The beautiful Kohimarama beach provided the perfect backdrop for an exciting array of water sports activities that many kids got to try for the first time. We are grateful to Kohimarama Yacht Club for providing us with use of the Club House. Families had a blast kayaking in the gentle waves. The kayaks gave even the littlest adventurers a chance to paddle out from shore. For even more fun on the water, kids took turns riding the sea biscuit. This giant, floatable raft got towed at thrilling speeds by a power boat. Squeals of delight could be heard as kids bounced over the wakes while gripping tight to the sea biscuit ropes. After working up an appetite from all the water activities, everyone was ready to refuel with a beachside picnic. The delicious kai kept energy levels high for an afternoon of even more fun in the sun.

Volunteers Make It All Possible

Upside Beach Day 2024 wouldn't be possible without the dedication of our amazing volunteers. They give their time and energy to make sure the day runs smoothly and all the activities are properly supervised. From setting up in the early morning, to managing the activities, to assisting with the prep and service of kai, our volunteers are the backbone of our wonderful Upside community event.

Their passion and commitment allows families and kids who otherwise wouldn't have access, to experience these water sports like kayaking in a safe and fun environment. We want to give a huge thank you to all the volunteers who selflessly give back to create this magical day for the children. Seeing the smiles on the kids' faces makes it all worthwhile.

Upside Beach Day simply wouldn't happen without you. Your efforts embody the spirit of community and we are sincerely grateful.

Activities Galore at Upside Beach Day

The activities at Upside Beach Day catered to people of all ages. Face painting was a huge hit with the younger kids. Our talented face painters transformed kids into tigers, butterflies, superheroes and more. The smiles on their faces showed just how much they enjoyed the experience. Volleyball nets were set up allowing teens and adults to get active with a friendly game. With the stunning beach views surrounding the court, it was a picturesque scene of community fun. Of course, no beach day is complete without a sandcastle building competition. Armed with buckets, shovels, and their creativity, teams worked furiously to construct the most elaborate castle before time ran out.  The range of activities ensured there was something for everyone to enjoy at Upside Beach Day. From relaxing in the sun to friendly competition, the day allowed the community to come together and make lasting memories.


We are incredibly grateful for the sponsorship provided by North and South Trust, which made this event possible. Their generous support allowed us to host Upside Beach Day 2024 at the beautiful Kohimarama Beach free of charge for all attendees. The team at North and South Trust recognises the importance of connecting our youth with enriching experiences that promote healthy development. Events like Upside Beach Day require significant financial backing. We hope North and South Trust knows just how much of an impact their support made on the families in our community. Their investment in our youth will surely inspire these kids to pay it forward. Thank you, North and South Trust, for so generously sponsoring Upside Beach Day 2024!


To summarise the day, Upside Beach Day 2024 was a huge success that showcased our wonderful Upside community and highlighted a much needed opportunity for everyone at the start of a New Year. With perfect weather and enthusiastic participation from families, mentors, and young people, the day provided memorable experiences that will last far beyond the event. Let Upside Beach Day be an inspiration for how we can continue supporting our youth, providing new experiences, and bringing our community together.

If you're interested in volunteering or sponsoring future events, please get in touch and don't forget to follow us on our social media pages. Together, we have the power to create more bright, uplifting days like this for the young people of our community.