If you have an active (or competitive) family, why not kick things up a notch and enter one of the many ocean swims held around the country each year? You can train together and motivate each other, and be there to prop each other up when you emerge gasping from the ocean at the end. Some events even cater to young children, with short courses to get them into the (ahem) swim of things.
You can even plan your family holiday around a destination event, such as the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Swim, which takes over beautifulHeronIslandwith multiple events for four days in October. It’s just one more wonderful excuse to head to sunnyQueensland!
The Great Barrier Reef Ocean Swim, Qld – This popular (read: book early!) four-day event is held in October onHeronIsland and caters to all ages. There’s a 1km and a 3km race, and the program of events includes nature activities and swim clinics.
Danger 1000 Ocean Swim, Torquay, Vic – 4 Jan 2014. Around 2000 competitors between the ages of 12 and 75 are expected to take part in next year’s race, with 1km and 2.5km legs at Torquay Front Beach, which is partially protected by Point Danger (hence the name).
Busselton Jetty Ocean Swim, WA 8-9 February 2014. This 3.6km swim around the jetty happens on the Sunday (9 February) and is open to solo swimmers, as well as relay teams of two and four. There’s also entertainment and activities for anyone wishing to stay on dry land.
Convict Escape Ocean Swim, Tas 8 February 2014. Part of eight swim events held acrossTasmaniain summer, this 1.8km ocean swim is now in its second year and takes off from the Port Arthur Heritage Site. The minimum age is 12.
Narrabeen Challenge Ocean Swim, NSW Held in October each year, there’s an 800m swim and a 1.8km swim. The minimum age is 15. narrabeach.org.au/events/narrabeen-challenge
Brighton Jetty Classic, SA 2 February 2014. Besides the 1500m swim, there are activities for the whole family, including the chance to meet the stars of Home & Away, live entertainment and street stalls. Kids aged eight and over can enter the shorter races, too.
Cooly Classic, Qld – 30 March 2014. Includes a 2km swim, a 1km swim for first-time ocean swimmers, and a 300m kids’ dash for littlies aged eight and older.