Contests with Australia
The exchange of visits between Australian and New Zealand teams began in 1937, when a New South Wales team came to this country. A New Zealand team made a return visit the following year. The main trouble in these pre-war contests was the different interpretation of rules. New Zealand was then very new to the six-man drill, but the records suggest that, all other things being equal, the Australians would still have beaten New Zealand in the water.
A three-test series was held in 1950 between New Zealand and a visiting Australian team, New Zealand winning the series, 2–1. This was the only time a test series was held. In 1954 Australia won the only test by six events to three. The 1956 tour of Australia was controversial, mainly because of the confused method adopted in keeping points. In the international surf carnival near Melbourne, New Zealand won the six-man rescue and resuscitation, the individual surf race, and the belt race. At the Australian championships New Zealand was allowed to compete in, and won, the surf teams' race. The concluding carnivals at Maroubra and Collaroy brought more New Zealand victories, but the large number of specialist events left Australia narrowly in the lead. This marked the last time tests were held between the two countries. The Australian team which visited New Zealand in 1961 met provincial teams only