Interview Snippet: Smackerels

The Smackerels are an ocean, and sometimes ocean pool, swimming group that swim out of Merewether, Newcastle.


Date: 23 July 2020
Interview number: 025
Interviewees: Smackerels (Jennifer, Steve, Neil & Jenny)
Venue: Merewether Beach, Newcastle, New South Wales


We met up with Jennifer, Steve, Neil & Jenny of the Smackerels ocean swimming group in Merewether, Newcastle on a beautiful morning when the surf was pumping (in typical Newcastle fashion).

Newcastle is well known as being a surfing haven, but ocean swimmers have long shared the waves here. The Smackerals are a relatively new group who are making the most of the fabulous environment and ocean culture. On this day the group jumped off the rocks near the iconic pools (which were being cleaned) and swam north behind the breakers.

In our chat afterwards, we talked about the ocean swimming culture in Newcastle, how the group came to be, and the deep connection the group has to local swimming and the beach.

Listen to snippet



A little snippet

In this snippet from the full podcast interview, Andre asks Neil (who’s an ex cyclist) about why it seems that people don’t think riding on open roads is as ‘dangerous’ as swimming in the ocean.



The full interview with the Smackerels will feature on a new podcast episode coming soon…

Group Details

Name: Smackerels
Location: Tables near the pools @ Merewether
Meeting times: Weekend mornings
Contact: Turn up, spot the crew and ask if you can join them


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  • Ross Martin
    5 August, 2020 at 4:26 AM

    I live in NZ and have visited Newcastle and met this group who are amazing people who really enjoy their swimming and each others company – and what a great place to swim 1

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