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ROTORUA, New Zealand

Want to develop your skills and knowledge in practical soil description and classification for understanding and interpreting soil and land use capability? Then join us at the 2024 Moana Oceania Soil Judging Competition! This years event runs just prior to the 2024 Joint Australia & New Zealand Soil Science conference in Rotorua, and offers the opportunity to learn alongside students, early career and experienced soil scientists, and soil enthusiasts, from around the South Pacific and beyond.

What is Soil Judging?

Soil Judging Competitions are an opportunity to learn more about soils, soil in the landscape, soil characteristics and the story of soils in your own backyard – in this case the volcanic wonderland of Rotorua, New Zealand. Participants spend three days in the field learning how to describe and classify soils and interpret their appropriate land uses. The first two days are aimed at teaching and familiarising participants with the procedure and the third day is a competition day, where participants can put their skills to the test.

See this video of the 2023 Darwin Soil Judging Competition to learn more:


“The whole event was excellent!
A good atmosphere,

meeting new people, reconnecting with others, and the exposure to different soils and landscapes were the

highlights. I would do it again!”

Tapuwa Marapara, then Land Use Scientist at Otago Regional Council, now MfE (2022 Blenheim SJC participant)


“I had an awesome time increasing my practical knowledge base outdoors. Spending time with others with a similar motivation compounded my knowledge of soil profiles immensely. I am now confident in my abilities to visually analyse a soil profile moving into my agronomist position”

Shed Buist, UTAS, Starting as an Agronomist for Nutrien, Launceston in Jan 2024 (2023 Darwin SJC participant)



Entry is open to any student or professional interested in soil science. Some education institutions and companies put together teams of 3-4 people, plus a coach. If you are entering as an individual, we’ll match you with a team. No experience required.

Cost is TBC, but is expected to be in the range of $90-120. This covers the cost of a participant shirt, transport to & from the soil judging sites and lunches.

Receive future updates and notifications by registering your interest.


Free online soil description and classification training will be made available later on in the year for all registered participants. Register your interest to receive updates on these training opportunities.

2024 Schedule


24 Nov 2024

Welcome BBQ dinner 


29 Nov 2024

Practice day 1 


30 Nov 2024

Practice day 2


1 DEC 2024

Competition day

Prize giving will be on Mon 2nd Dec 2024 at the 2024 Joint Australia & New Zealand Soil Science conference morning tea.


A number of accommodation options are available in Rotorua. We will be aiming to provide an option for all participants to stay at the same venue – details to be made available when entries open.


Watch this space for answers to FAQ, including: What equipment do I need? How can I access NZ soil resources? Do I need a Visa?

Contact details

Please direct any questions on the 2024 Moana Oceania Soil Judging Competition to

Sponsorship opportunities

The 2024 Moana Oceania Soil Judging Competition offers great sponsorship opportunities. Contact us at for more information if you are interested in sponsoring this event.

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