The Nine Mile Class Ocean Swim are the perfect set of events for beginners and regulars to the sport. Swimmers can partake in a 1km or 2km event or if they are feeling really gung-ho they can take on both.
The Nine Mile Classic ocean swim at Nine Mile Beach, Blacksmiths, is a fun event for swimmers of all abilities and ages.
The event's name doesn't reflect its distances. The Nine Mile Classic offers two ocean swims, a 1km and 2km event.
Those new to ocean swimming might only take part in one of the swims, but for those experienced athletes who are up for a challenge have the option to take on both.
Nine Mile Beach runs from the entrance to the Swansea Channel in the south (Lake Macquarie) to Redhead in the north.
Replacing Across the Lake, the second-longest running open water swim in Australia, the Nine Mile Classic offers athletes a 1km or 2km swim or both. The swims operate as circuits from the beach.
Although being a surf beach, the area is pretty well protected from rough surf.
But there will be a surf break for swimmers to negotiate. Fortunately Moon Island, which sits out from the channel mouth, protects swimmers from the toughest and worst conditions.
The Nine Mile Classic is the perfect event for those new to ocean swimming, as well as the die hard regulars of the sport. Having the option to compete in the 1km, 2km or both, allows swimmers to work within their means.
1km ocean swim
Start the day with a nice 1km circuit swim off Blacksmiths Beach, bashing out through the surf and catching a sweet wave back to the beach to finish. There's a discount on offer if you swim this and the 2km, so perhaps use it as a warm up, if you're so inclined.
2km ocean swim
Leaving and returning to Blacksmiths Beach, this swim is around a circuit of buoys. You'll enjoy the challenge of taking on the surf break as you start and finish, but on all accounts this should be fairly mild.
While you're there
While in town explore the beauty of Lake Macquarie.
Hire a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard and discover the area for yourself. Or jump on board a chartered catamaran, sit back and relax, and breathe in the fresh Lake Macquarie air.
Cycling is another one of the best ways to explore the area and discover the unique natural environment of Lake Macquarie. Take a leisurely afternoon ride or take on a more challenging trail like the Wangi Wangi Point Flora and Fauna Reserve.
Travel and parking
There's loads of parking around the beach, you shouldn't find parking a problem.