The Waikato Boat, Fishing & Leisure Show was launched in 2003 with the Marine Industry Association supporting and endorsing the event since its inception. The nautical showcase views the involvement of industry experts and event professionals as the reason for the events’ success. Many volunteers also aid the smooth running of the event and without their support; the event would not be possible.
The show has adopted several names since the start of the event, with leisure aspects considered and added into the name to reflect the event. The marine exhibition, originally labeled the National Boat Show altered its name in 2005 to the National Boat and Fishing show. In 2006, the show was renamed the National Boat, Fishing & Outdoor Pursuits Show and in 2007 eventually changed its title to the Waikato Boat, Fishing & Leisure Show, which it has been ever since.
With Mystery Creek Events Centre providing a unique location, excellent facilities and a variety of exhibition areas, the activities that are able to take place add to the success of the event. The lake in the heart of the venue is utilised with many ‘on water’ demonstrations and competitions. Large areas of open ground provide clubs and organisations the space to coordinate a variety of activities and demonstrations including; land sailing, go-karting, fly fishing demos, air rifle shooting, micro-lite flights and rally car hot laps.
The Youth Programme School Tour has provided many children with the opportunity to grow their marine and water safety knowledge. The programme has been so successful that similar shows have also implemented the programme and it is now administered by a dedicated duo at Environment Waikato.
Youth are encouraged to learn about the marine industry, as children under the age of 14 are free to attend the event. The Waikato Boat, Fishing & Leisure Show is proud to be a family friendly exhibition, with many activities designed for the entire family.
In 2009 the Innovation Court was launched to showcase new developments in the marine industry. It was a hit with exhibitors and visitors and is on its way to becoming a permanent fixture of the event.