Just a short drive from Sydney you'll find one of the South Coast's most fun and varied ocean swim events - all part of the multi-event Splash Wollongong.
The festival includes an aquathon and beach runs, based around Wollongong‚Äôs harbour basin and the ‚ÄòBondi of the south‚Äô North Wollongong Beach. Plus brand new this year is the inclusion of SwimRunX.
A mix of events and distances on offer. The main swim is the point to point 2km 'Basin2Beach', plus an 800m beginner and 400m kids swim in the sheltered water of the harbour.
An ideal end-of-summer day trip from Sydney, the Splash Wollongong presents an opportunity to try something different, enjoy the relaxed nature of Wollongong's city beaches and lap up the regional hospitality.
It's also an event for the whole family, there is literally something for everyone, from the 400m kids and 800m beginner sheltered harbour swims to the signature 2km Basin to Beach swim, you'll love sharing the moment with your mates, brothers, sisters, aunties, mum, dad...
One of the beauty's of this event is that it's run both in the harbour and at the beach, so it's pretty much always going to be on. Travelling from afar? Not to worry, the 2km swim can be run safety inside the basin if the swell gets too big - so don't worry, register early, pack a picnic and make a day of it!
Let the kids enjoy a fun little swim in the harbour as they pass moored boats in the calm waters of the basin. Parents can swim along, and/or be safe in the knowledge the water safety is aplenty and land is only a short dash. The best part is the kids get a swim cap and finishes medal to hang on the bedroom wall or take to show and tell!
Perfect for first-timers seeking a little bit of adventure, the 800m course winds a figure of eight through the harbour basin, around the boats and for a little thrill, it sneaks just outside the harbour entrance before returning calmly to the harbour beach.
The 2km is the 'signature swim' of the day, and starts in the water alongside the jetty inside the basin. Heading off towards the boats, you wind your way through the moorings before exiting the harbour and heading north to the first turning buoy. Next comes the zigzag, with a sharp left hand turn taking you a couple of hundred metres towards the beach, before a sharp right fires you back out to sea for the final buoy turn that sets you on a course to the finish in front of the beach kiosks on North Beach.
Wollongong Harbour's Breakwater lighthouse has been inactive since 1974 (a decorative light is displayed on special occasions), but it's still up there with the most visited places in the 'gong for tourists.
For a post swim feed, stay around the harbour and try one of Diggies or the North Kiosk. For a taste of the sea, try Bombora Seafood or the Harbourfront Restaurant.
There's plenty of parking in the streets, but there also plenty of people looking for them. Try Flagstaff Hill, or circle the blocks for free parking.