La Grande Swim



Last season Akaroa really turned it on for swimmers and supporters of the State La Grande Swim with stunning weather, near perfect swimming conditions and a great event village atmosphere with lots of delicious local food vendors to feed hungry swimmers! This season we are back for more and, with the tides on our side, looking forward to offering a morning swim for everyone.


This season we will be kicking off with the ‘I’m Going Long’ 2.8km swim around the Bay, followed with the ‘Step It Up’ 1000m swim, ‘Give It A Go’ 300m swim and culminating with the 200m State OceanKids before we reward everyone’s achievements at prize giving.

Due to swimmers wanting to make a weekend of their time in Akaroa, we have kept the event on a Saturday, meaning you can swim on Saturday morning and then have the rest of the weekend to soak up the idyllic surroundings of Akaroa. Check out for what’s on offer.

NEWSFLASH: fund raise for Surf Life Saving NZ and get your individual / series entry FOR FREE! Click here for details.

Swim Start & Safety Briefing Times

The State La Grande Swim event provides an ocean swim event for all ages and abilities.

  • The ‘I’m Going Long’ 2.8km Ocean Swim starts on French Bay Beach at 9.00am and finishes on Children’s Bay Beach. The compulsory safety briefing is at 8.40am at French Bay Beach. This swim is for individuals with swimming experience who have trained to complete this event.
  • The ‘Step It Up’ 1000m Ocean Swim, starting at 10.50am at French Bay Beach and finishing on Children’s Bay Beach, is an achievable distance for individuals with swimming experience and could be training for the ‘I’m Going Long’ swim at one of the other events. The compulsory safety briefing is at 10.45am at French Bay Beach.
  • The ‘Give It A Go’ 300m Ocean Swim, starting at 11.35am at Children’s Bay Beach, is a great introduction to open water swimming. The compulsory safety briefing is at 11.30am at Children’s Bay Beach.
  • The State OceanKids, kicking off at 11.40am at Children’s Bay Beach, is for children aged between 6-10 years old and consists of a fun 30 minute safety activity session followed by a 200m shallow water triangular swim off Children’s Bay Beach, lined with Surf Life Saving NZ guards – read more.

I’m Going Long – 2.8km

View course map >>

Step It Up – 1000m

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Give It A Go – 300m

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State Ocean Kids – 200m

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Swimmer Information Sheet

Click HERE for the State La Grande Swimmer Information Sheet. In it will be everything you need to know about the event (event parking, event site services and activities, prize giving information etc), helping to make it a better, more informed experience for you and your support crew!

Swim pack pick up / registration details

See below the details of the swim pack pick up / registration for the State La Grande Swim event this season. This is usually more busy than normal at the beginning and end, so to avoid the queues, we recommend coming in the middle of the registration period.

Date: Friday 21 February 2014
5.00PM – 8.00PM
: Pioneer Rec and Sport Centre, 75 Lyttelton Street, Somerfield (next to Centennial Park), Christchurch, Canterbury
Googlemap: Pioneer Rec and Sport Centre
Free parking locations: There are 256 parking spaces available at the Rec Centre (including disability and 10 minute).

If you can’t make the registration event – check out our swim pack courier service below.

All entrants will receive:

  • A timing chip which is loaned to you for the event
  • A swim cap that you must wear for the duration of the event
  • A State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series branded beach towel from our principal sponsor State insurance (one per season)
  • A personalised certificate that you can download and print at no charge from the results page
  • Other sponsor goodies
  • State bag tent at main event site for competitors

Swim Pack Couriers:

If you can’t make the swim pack pick up event above, you can pre-pay for your swim pack (including swim cap, timing chip etc) to be couriered to you the week leading up to the event. In the interest in keeping your costs down, couriers are split into two zones at different prices. Couriers purchased with incorrect zones may not reach you in time. Please check here for more information about couriers and see which zone and price your courier will be.

Please note that Swim Pack courier orders for the State La Grande Swim close at 5pm Wednesday 12 February 2014, so make sure you purchase yours before this date if you would like your Swim Pack couriered to you.

You can book and pay for this courier service when entering online or purchase from the ocean swim store.  featureEnterButton

Important dates:

11:59PM – Friday 27 December 2013 – Online Early-bird pricing finishes
5.00PM – Wednesday 12 February 2014 – Swim Pack courier orders close
11:59PM – Friday 14 February 2014 – $5 late entry fee applies
11:59PM – Thursday 20 February 2014 – Online registrations close
ALL DAY – Saturday 22 February 2014 – $10 event day late entry fee applies

Event day transportation

A charter bus will be available for participants traveling from Christchurch to Akaroa.

The pick up and drop off point in central Christchurch for this service is at the Bus Exchange in Lichfield St (City Centre) at river end. The bus will depart Christchurch at 6.00am sharp, arriving in Akaroa no later than 7.45am. The bus will depart from the same location it dropped swimmers off in Akaroa at 1.30pm. Note this service is limited to one bus of 50 seats. Once this runs out, if you still need a ride, you’ll need to organise it with other swimmers (you can do this through our Facebook page)

This return service is $25 per person and can be purchased when entering online or through our online store.

Bag tent

State provide a Free Bag Tent available to all competitors at the main event site. This is on an all care and no responsibility basis. Note there is no bag transfer service for the ‘I’m Going Long’ competitors for this event.

Prize Giving

The State La Grande Swim prize giving will take place at 12.20pm on Saturday 22 February 2014 at the event site in Jubilee Park, Akaroa. Overall and Age Group winners and place-getters will be awarded medals and awesome spot prizes will be handed out to those present.

Visiting Akaroa or Christchurch for this Event?

To find helpful information for your stay, visit phone +64 3 379 9629 or email

Check out or phone +64 3 304 8600 for everything you need in Akaroa (accommodation, restaurants, fun activities etc)  featureEnterButton

Cut off times

The cut off times for the State La Grande are:

  • There is a 1050m yellow buoy that all ‘I’m Going Long’ swimmers must reach within 40 minutes from their start wave
  • ‘I’m Going Long’ 2.8km – 1hr 45 minutes from your wave/group start
  • ‘Step It Up’ 1000m – 40 minutes from your group start
  • ‘Give It Go’ 300m – 13 minutes

Boat ramp closures

Due to the State La Grande Swim taking place at high tide this season, there are a number of closures in place during the event for swimmer safety. These times will be uploaded to this page closer to the event date.

Safe Swimming Tips from Water Safety NZ

Get out if you’re feeling tired or cold.

Proudly supported by:

The State La Grande Swim is proudly supported by the Christchurch City Council.