Free buses are on offer for anyone wanting to catch some of the AIMS Games action from this weekend.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council are offering the buses to all NZCT AIMS Games athletes and their supporters as the week-long tournament kicks off in Tauranga on Sunday.

This year the games have a record 9300 competitors taking part and the buses are designed to help ease traffic congestion.

The park and ride service will be available in Mount Maunganui anyone wanting a ride, with parking at ASB Baypark and buses running to Blake Park and the Mount Maunganui Hot Pools, and back, every 30mins.


All athletes, coaches and referees - anyone with an official wristband - will also get free Bayhopper bus services throughout Tauranga for the duration of the tournament.

"An event as big as ours can be tricky with the influx of traffic but this is an ideal way to ease the pressure on the roads next week," tournament director Vicki Semple said.

"We're delighted the two councils have come up with this amazing idea. There are some great benefits, not only for easing congestion but also as a cool way for whole teams to travel together and build their tournament spirit."

Tauranga City Council sponsorship and leverage manager Sarah Lewis said the free park and ride service in Mount Maunganui could be used by anyone.

"For residents not involved in the AIMS Games, this is a great chance to check out some of the fantastic sports action with free parking at Baypark and free buses every 30 minutes to the main venues," she said. "This kind of support is essential to ensuring the Games run as successfully and smoothly as possible and we are happy to assist."

The AIMS Games is New Zealand's largest annual sporting tournament, with athletes from 271 schools from around New Zealand competing in 21 different sporting codes.