Bilgola ocean swim
Sun, 12 Jan 2020
The Bilgola ocean swim is yet another beautiful swim to take place on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Bilgola, on the northern extremity of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, is yet another pristine beach with crystal clear water and clean sand.
But when there’s a swell, Bilgola has its sinister side, there’s plenty of shifting banks, rips, peaks, and shoulders.
And that’s why the Bilgola Ocean Swim can be a challenge for any ocean swimmer.
The event has two different swims starting an hour apart, and the more daring of swimmers can certainly try to complete both.
Pittwater ocean swim series
The Bilgola Ocean Swim is the first part of the Pittwater ocean swim series.
If you manage to complete three of these five, you go into a random draw for a chance to win a weekend in Byron Bay.
But that shouldn’t be the only thing to entice you to tackle the Bilgola ocean swim and the rest of the Pittwater ocean swim series.
The entire series is a brilliant excuse to take in the beauty of five of Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
There are two courses as part of the Bilgola ocean swim: an 800m swim in the morning, and the 1500m main event.
The main event follows a polygonal course, starting out from the middle of Bilgola Beach.
Once you reach past the break, you’ll turn north towards the headland. When you reach the turning buoy, you’ll head south and do the same.
Eventually, the swim brings you back to shore where you started.
The 800m swim is a smaller circuit just off the beach.
But be wary: despite the beach’s beauty, Bilgola can prove a tricky customer.
When the waves pick up, there’s plenty of shifting banks, rips, peaks, and shoulders.
If it’s a day with big swell, the Bilgola ocean swim isn’t as straightforward as may seem.
800m ocean swim
The 800m swim is a smaller circuit of the longer 1.5km course, sitting just off the middle of Bilgola Beach, and perfect for beginners and kids, or as a warm up for the main event.
1.5km ocean swim
The main event follows a polygonal course, starting out from the middle of Bilgola Beach. Once you reach past the break, you’ll turn north towards the headland. When you reach the turning buoy, you’ll head south and do the same. Eventually, the swim brings you back to shore where you started.
While you’re there
Bilgola is tucked away in the trees with not much around the beach tbh.
The Bum Balinos Cafe is a relaxed beachside cafe, and a favourite with the locals.
If you fancy a round of afternoon golf, book a round in at the Avalon Golf Course just north of the beach.
When you’re this far up the northern beaches, there is a lot of sightseeing to be down just by driving around the coastline. Hit Sunday driving mode and see what’s around the next corner.
Travel and parking
There is special event parking in Porter Reserve at North Newport, you’ll find the entry in Burke St off Barrenjoey Rd. A free shuttle bus will transport you to the beach.
If you want to try your luck closer to the beach, there is a park at Bilgola and space along The Serpentine.