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Coogee Island Challenge (Cool Water)

Sun, 5 Apr 2020

The Coogee Island Challenge (Cool Water) is the second ‘cut of the cake’ for organisers and swimmers alike with its ‘cold water’ equivalent swim having been held in late November.

If you weren’t prepared back then, or the water was in fact too ‘cold’, then this is your chance to finish the mainstream Sydney ocean swimming season on a high.

‘Once Around the Island’ is the tagline and the 2.4km course is just that: one lap circumventing the famous Wedding Cake Island.

2014 event video from the air

OceanFit had cameras in the air, on the sand and in the water to bring you the Coogee Island Challenge (Cold Water) like it had never been seen before!

View more aerial photos here.

There are two swims in the Coogee Island Challenge series: The Cool Water in April (this event) and the Cold Water in November.

Swim courses

The Coogee Island Challenge (Cool Water) boasts three race courses across the event.

The shortest course is the 800m Junior Dash, which follows a circuit inside Coogee Bay.

The Junior Dash is for boys and girls between 11 and 13-years-old.

The 1km Splash and Dash is a slightly longer course but is still encapsulated within Coogee Bay.

The bay itself is unlikely to get rough conditions. Coogee Bay is protected by headlands to the south and the north, and by Wedding Cake Island that sits offshore.

But for those up the task, the 2.4km full course around Wedding Cake Island has been known to be challenging.

Not only is the distance greater, but the ride around the far side of Wedding Cake Island can be choppy, and on days with big swell, is packed with bodyboarders and surfers.

However, those willing to take on the full distance of the Coogee Island Challenge may be rewarded by some nice underwater views, again dependent on conditions.

For both the 1km Splash and Dash, and the full Coogee Island Challenge event, there are divisions ranging from 13 to 19-years-old, all the way up to 60-plus.

Junior dash

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 splash and dash

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

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.

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.

Coogee Courage Multisport Festival

The 2019 event is part of the Coogee Courage Multisport Festival which gives the public an opportunity to run, swim, walk and get amongst Coogee with friends, family and even your neighbours to raise funds for The Royal Hospital For Women.

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.


2019 results | 2018 results | 2017 results | 2016 results

Event Date

Sun, 5 Apr 2020
Event Categories:
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Official event website:
Learn More & Register


Coogee SLSC


Type of event
ocean swim
Course types
around a feature/island & around the buoys
Swim lengths
800m, 1km & 2.4km


Coogee Beach
Coogee NSW
Coogee,New South Wales2034Australia
+ Google Map


We’ve done our best to provide up-to-date information on all the swims we list on our calendar. However, we ask that you please consult the official event website or registration location for final information, schedule, costs and terms & conditions before registering. Spotted an error? Please let us know.


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