Coogee Island Challenge ocean swim
Sun, 24 Nov 2019
Once Around the Island’ is the tagline of the Coogee Island Challenge (cold water), and the 2.4km course is just that: one lap circumventing the famous Wedding Cake Island.
For more than a decade, the cold water challenge has kicked off the ocean swimming season in Sydney and this year is no different.
It’s one of the first events on the calendar and one that around 2000 people each year have a crack at.
There are two swims in the Coogee Island Challenge series: The Cold Water in Nov (this event) and the Cool Water in April.
The shortest swim of the day is reserved for the kids, with 10-12 year olds eligible to take on the 800m swim within the Bay.
1km bay splash
A 1km swim around the buoys inside the sheltered Coogee Bay, perfect for beginners and those looking to warm up for the Challenge later in the morning.
Wedding Cake Island Challenge
The 2.4km swim around Wedding Cake Island leaves the middle of Coogee Beach following a line of buoys every couple of hundred metres as they wind themselves around the Island in a clockwise direction and back to the beach.
While you’re there
Wylie’s Baths located at the south end of the beach, were established in 1907 by Henry Alexander Wylie, a champion long distance and under water swimmer. Chill out for the afternoon, take a refreshing swim, lay on a comfortable massage bed and enjoy a relaxing post swim massage while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.
There are plenty of eating options with a hop skip and a jump from the beach. Coogee Pavilion has something for everyone, and is super kid friendly. Barzura always has a great breakfast and coffee (with great views to boot), and the Coogee Hotel is your choice for a few brown ales.
Travel and parking
If you’re planning on driving to the event, make sure you get there early as parking at Coogee can be difficult during summer. There’s an all-day paid beach carpark at the north end of the beach, and paid street parking everywhere else.
However, public transport to Coogee is excellent via bus services from Circular Quay, Bondi Junction, and Central Station.