The Bilgola Ocean Swim, affectionately known as the 'Billy', is yet another beautiful boutique swim to take place on Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Bilgola, near the northern extremity of Sydney's Northern Beaches, is a pristine beach with crystal clear water and clean sand. The surf club setting among the trees is one of the best in all of Sydney, you'll quickly forget you're still in Sydney.
But when there's a swell, Bilgola has its sinister side, there's plenty of shifting banks, rips, peaks, and shoulders.
And that's why the Bilgola Ocean Swim can be both sinner and saint to an ocean swimmer.
The event has two different swims starting an hour apart, 500m and 1.5km and the more daring of swimmers can certainly try to complete both.
While you're in Bilgola, make a day of it and explore the northern tip of the beaches.
Pittwater Ocean Swim Series
There are five swims in the Pittwater Ocean Swim Series that are held across five different parts of Sydney’s Northern Beaches: Newport, Avalon, Mona Vale, Palm Beach and this event at Bilgola.
The entire series is a brilliant excuse to take in the beauty of five of Sydney’s Northern Beaches during the height of summer while supporting the local surf lifesaving clubs who organise the events.
There are two courses as part of the Bilgola ocean swim: a 500m swim in the morning and the 1.5km main event.
The 1.5km main event follows a polygonal course, starting out from the middle of Bilgola Beach.
Once you reach past the break, you'll turn north towards the headland. When you reach the turning buoy, you'll head south and do the same.
Eventually, the swim brings you back to shore where you started.
The 500m swim is a smaller circuit just off the beach.
But be wary: despite the beach's beauty, Bilgola can prove a tricky customer.
When the waves pick up, there's plenty of shifting banks, rips, peaks, and shoulders.
While You're There
Bilgola is tucked away in the trees with a regional beach feel about it.
The Bum Balinos Cafe is a relaxed beachside cafe and a favourite with the locals.
If you fancy a round of afternoon golf, book a round in at the Avalon Golf Course just north of the beach.
When you're this far up the northern beaches, there is a lot of sightseeing to be done just by driving around the coastline. Hit Sunday driving mode and see what's around the next corner.
Travel & Parking
There is special event parking in Porter Reserve at North Newport, you'll find the entry in Burke St off Barrenjoey Rd. A free shuttle bus will transport you to the beach.
If you want to try your luck closer to the beach, there is a park at Bilgola and space along The Serpentine.