Learn More about Ocean Swimming

Swimming is invigorating, fun and extremely good for the mind, body and soul. Take your pick – the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series provides an excellent stage to set yourself challenges and achieve your goals. Whether you want to get into open water swimming, or are looking for added motivation to maintain your fitness or simply enjoy swimming, the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series is for you.

Swim distance options

The events offer a range of achievable distances, with opportunities for almost all ages and abilities to take part.

2km – 5km swims

The longer swim distances are a great challenge for individuals who have trained or have swimming experience. The swim distance varies from 2km up to 5km – check event pages for distances in each location. If you have ever considered entering a longer open water swim, the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series provides an ideal and safe opportunity to do this. Age eligibility is from 12 years old and over.

1000m – 1600m swims

Ideal for those swimmers who would like a challenge but perhaps aren’t quite ready to enter the longer distance swims. This is a good swim distance for those with swimming experience that haven’t swum in open water before, are training for a triathlon or who have previously swum in a 500m swim. Age eligibility is 10 years old and over.

500m – 800m swims

The 500m swim is a great introduction to ocean swimming and is suitable for most swimming abilities and ages. The 500m course is typically a triangular course that is close to the beach. You are most welcome to use soft flippers and/or a pull buoy in these events if you wish. Age eligibility is from 8 years old and over.

Banana Boat OceanKids swims

The Banana Boat OceanKids swims are a great ocean swimming event designed for kids wanting to get into ocean swimming. There are two swim distance options, 100m & 200m, and you can enter either distance.  The courses are heavily supported by Surf Life Saving guards. Age eligibility is 7-10 years old. Go to our Banana Boat OceanKids page for more information.

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Amphibian swim/run

They were an absolute hit in our 2018 – 2019 Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series and now they’re a permanent fixture! Our Amphibian swim/run is an individual event bringing a new dimension to the Series. They’re a heap of fun, so if you haven’t tried one yet, you better at the upcoming Series. The Generation Homes Mount Swim event will host an Amphibian consisting of a 750m swim followed by a 4.5km run around the base of Mount Maunganui. Rotorua’s Generation Homes Legend of the Lake will also feature an Amphibian with a 1.7km swim across the Blue Lake followed by a 3.5km run around the Lake’s edge then a final 500m swim.

Join our community

Our Facebook Group is a great way to chat with like-minded swimmers – find someone in your local area to swim with, ask for advice from our experienced swimmers and coaches, or simply just share news about the ocean swimming world – Join us today!

Live Ocean – Our charity partner

Founded by sailors and ocean lovers, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, Live Ocean’s mission is to amplify and accelerate positive ocean action in New Zealand, with a focus on marine science, innovation and positive action. Together we can join the race to help restore and protect the ocean, so that future generations can keep enjoying ocean swimming just like you. Your actions will help make a difference. 100% of your donation goes to Live Ocean. Visit our page for more information or to donate.

Training events and clinics

We partner with reputable events and clinics around New Zealand that we believe are great to aid your preparation for a Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series event. Training events and clinics give you open water experience and also help to build your confidence in the ocean. Take a look at events and clinics around the country.

Training Facilities

We partner with world-class facilities around New Zealand that will be more than happy to help you continue your swim training in the off-season. These facilities offer more than just lane swimming so check out all the locations in your region!

Auckland Facilities

Event safety

All Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series events are patrolled by trained Surf Life Saving NZ lifeguards or first aid qualified personnel who can assist you at any time. So that the events are safe and enjoyable for all swimmers, there are some rules for the event. Read more about Event Safety and Rules.


Wetsuits are not compulsory but will provide warmth and buoyancy. Find out more information about ocean swimming specific wetsuits and where to purchase/hire for an event.

Visit our store for blueseventy’s rage of wetsuits, swimwear, swim accessories and goggles

Start groups

All events are split into start groups seeding you with swimmers of similar ability/speed. This is calculated by the start group selected during your entry process. This means you shouldn’t have to pass or be passed by too many other swimmers, making the event more enjoyable for everyone!

Prizegiving and awards categories

All swim locations have a prizegiving. This season there will be a prizegiving for all Series eligible long swims and our Amphibian events.  Overall and age medals are awarded at this time. You can read more about this here.

Sponsor spot prizes are randomly drawn throughout the event day. These will be announced at the compulsory swim briefing before each event and can be collected onsite from the Registration Tent.

Series Competition

If you choose to take part in three or more of the following swims in one season, you will automatically be part of the Series Competition:

  • Harcourts Cooper & Co Swim the Shore 3.8km
  • Interislander Swim the Lighthouse 3.3km
  • Generation Homes La Grande Swim 5km
  • Interislander Bean Rock Swim 3.2km
  • Generation Homes Legend of the Lake 3.5km
  • Generation Homes The Mount Swim 2.8km
  • Harcourts Cooper & Co Swim the Bridge 2km

The points from your three best results will be added together and those swimmers with the highest point totals at the end of the Series will place in their respective age groups.

It doesn’t matter whether you have entered your three or more events through a multi-event pass or individual registrations, as long as your name and date of birth are the same across the individual event registrations, your points will be collated. Find out more about the Series Competition.