Warm weather brought a busier than expected long weekend for volunteer lifeguards during the first few days of beach patrol.
The Surf Life Saving patrol season officially started on Labour weekend as volunteers begin weekend patrols on Mount Maunganui, Ōmanu, Pāpāmoa and Waihī Beach beaches.
Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club director of lifeguarding Haven Bellamy said there were more people than usual on the beaches this long weekend.
"I think the weather has played a big part in that," he said.
Bellamy said there were between 14 and 16 volunteer lifeguards patrolling the beach each day over the long weekend and he was pleased to see swimmers between the flags.
"It is great to see everyone out there enjoying the beach and sticking between the red and yellows," he said.
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service patrol captain Jamie Troughton said Saturday was a busy day for lifeguards.
"There were big crowds of people at the beach, but water temperatures were still keeping people out of the sea," he said.
There was minimal swell and not too many rips, with lifeguards having to tow a couple of paddleboarders back to safety who had "become a bit tired".
The lifeguards started their season patrolling from containers and Portacoms next to the club's new $3 million headquarters.
"There was huge interest in our new build, which was great," Troughton said.
Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club lifeguard committee chairman Ryan Hohneck said Saturday was a busier day at the beach than expected due to the good weather.
"There was a good amount of people on the beach," he said.
Hohneck said no one got into trouble in the water, but about 20 lifeguards were on hand to offer any advice on spotting rips and ensuring people were swimming between the flags.
He said weather conditions were calm despite a "chilly" wind.
Waihi Beach Surf Life Saving Club patrol captain Christiaan Maarhuis said the opening weekend of patrols had been a success, with no rescues and "tame" water conditions.
"We have had a couple of nice sunny days and good numbers on the beach," he said.
Marrhuis said the beach was busy with the junior surf registrations on Sunday and the local church organised a beach dig.
"There was about 400-500 people on the beach at our peak," he said.