The Bondi Blue Water Challenge harbours one of the suburb's best-kept secrets, but one that ocean swimmers have been privy to for years: the best time to swim is towards the end of summer.
The water is warm, the crowds have gone back to work, and preparations for the Bondi Blue Water Challenge are well underway.
It is a unique event in that it not only offers three swims (500m, 1km and 2.1km) but also a 4km soft sand run - that's four laps of the famous Bondi beach.
The Bondi Blue Water Challenge falls on the last weekend of summer (officially), so after your swim, pick one of the many cafes and bars that line the streets of Bondi and relax with a drink and something to eat while indulging in a bit of people-watching... the perfect way to end the day, and the summer.
The Blue Water Challenge is a unique event that caters to ocean swimmers and runners. It has three swim distances: 500m, 1km and 2.1km.
The 500m swim distance is perfect for nippers or novice ocean swimmers looking for their first challenge. The 1km and 2.1 km races draw top talent from the next generation of open water swimming superstars.
Those that prefer to stay on land can challenge themselves in the 4km soft sand run on the iconic Bondi Beach. Open to all ages 10-years plus.
The 500m course is around two marker buoys set approximately 100 metres from the shoreline in front of the Bondi SBSLSC.
The 1km course is a wineglass shaped course. Participants leave the beach and pass the gate buoy on their right. Heading towards Icebergs, turn left around the marker buoy in the middle of the bay and swim north across the bay and turn left around the outermost buoy. They then swim back towards shore and pass through the final gate buoy on the right and after a short run, finish under the blue arch.
The 2.1 km course is a wineglass shaped course that covers the distance of the whole bay. Participants leave the beach and pass the gate buoy on their right. Heading towards Icebergs, pass the next buoy on their left and turn left around the marker buoy at MacKenzies Point. They then swim north across the bay and turn left around the marker buoy at Ben Buckler. Heading back towards shore, they swim past the marker buoy in the middle bay (on the left), passing through the final gate buoy on the right and after a short run, finish under the blue arch.
Please note that the swim courses may be altered on the day depending on surf conditions.
4km Beach Run
The 4km beach run course will be run on the soft sand along the promenade, starting just north of Bondi Surf Club. There will be 4 laps of the beach, going from the south to north and then looping back. The run will finish in front of Bondi Surf Club through the blue arch.
After all that talk of wine glasses, it'd be rude not to have one to celebrate after your swim.
You're spoilt for choice within striking distance of the beach. Venture north to the North Bondi RSL, or behind the beach to Ravesis (across the street on the corner of Hall & Campbell) or south to the Icebergs club.
All these places also serve coffee and food, so either way, you'll be covered.
After brunch, explore the inner streets of Bondi off Hall street for fantastic shopping, hang out and people watch at the Icebergs pool, or for the very energetic, take a walk along the coastal walk towards Bronte.
Hopefully, by this time in the season, the parking will be better... but just the thought of a sunny day will fill up every last spot before sunrise.
There is beach parking along Elizabeth Drive and behind the Pavillon, 2-hours parking within a couple of blocks of the beach, and free parking lightyears from the beach (but the walk to the beach will be a good warm-up). Try Military Road up past the golf course in North Bondi.
Swimmers are encouraged to carpool or take public transportation.
The buses to Bondi are 380, 381, 333. The 389 also comes to Bondi, but you'll need to get off on Hall Street or at the North Bondi terminal and walk.
If the weather is looking great, get there early as it'll be heaving.
500m, 1km & 2.1km
Adult = 17-years-old and over
Child = 9-16-years-old
1km + 2.1km Swims - Adult $85, Child $60
4km Beach Run + 1km Swim - Adult $85, Child $60
4km Beach Run + 2.1km Swim - Adult $85, Child $60
Swims: 500m - 9-years-old, 1km - 10-years-old, 2.1km - 12-years-old. Beach run: 4km - 10-years-old.
Bondi Beach NSW, Australia
Wetsuits, flippers, and snorkels
The Bondi Blue Water Challenge is a fun community event aimed at all swimming abilities. Competitors may use extraneous aids such as flippers, snorkels, floatation clothing or devices in any of the swims, but will not be eligible for any prize or qualify as an official place getter.
Swimmers with disabilities
We encourage all swimmers to participate. If you require assistance during the swim, please contact us. We will make every effort to make it a safe and enjoyable swim.
Swim race rules and conditions
Beach run race rules
The organiser of this event, Bondi SBSLSC, is a registered charity. This event is a major fundraiser for the club and other local community charities, and all proceeds go towards providing volunteer services to the community.
Cancelling your entry
Should you wish to cancel your entry, for any reason, at any time, the following applies:
Should the event be cancelled due to poor and/or dangerous ocean conditions, or Government-mandated health restrictions, the following will apply:
The organiser thanks you for your understanding and support.