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Five of the best events: Jetty swims

Jetties have a rich history in Australia, dating back to the 1800s when they were built to help the transportation of livestock, agricultural produce, passengers and mail by sea.

How times have changed, fast forward more than 200 years and the jetties still standing are more likely to be used by people fishing, thrill seekers and… ocean swimmers.

Each summer, hundreds of swimmers swarm to ocean swim events hosted alongside jetties, and why wouldn’t you want to swim around a piece of history in our beautiful ocean?

Here are five of the best jetty swims in Australia.

Brighton Jetty Classic

The Brighton Jetty Classic is South Australia’s largest open-water swim, attracting 1,200 eager swimmers every February.

The Brighton Jetty has had quite a life, enduring harsh seas and storms for well over 100 years, first being built in 1886. In 1994, the Jetty was too badly damaged to be safe for the public and was refurbished by a mobile phone service provider who decided to build a big tower at the end of the Jetty.

There is a swim for everyone with distances ranging from 100m to 1.5km, with the longer distance taking you around the beautiful Brighton Jetty.

A fan favourite each year is the Marilyn Jetty Swim which sees hundreds of swimmers dress up as everyone’s favourite 50s icon, Marilyn Monroe, for a swim for charity.

The event also hosts the Street Festival which offers swimmers music, entertainment, market stalls and food trucks post-swim.

The Marilyn Jetty Swim at the Brighton Jetty Classic

Busselton Jetty Swim

The Busselton Jetty Swim is the premier swim in Western Australia which sees swimmers swim 3.6km around the iconic 157-year-old Busselton Jetty, the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

Swimmers get to take in the gorgeous natural wonders surrounding the Jetty, with the piles and surrounding area doubling as Australia’s greatest artificial reef with over 300 marine species including tropical and sub-tropical corals, sponges, fish and invertebrates.

Make sure to make the most of your time on the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and go for a walk or train ride along the 1.8km jetty to the Underwater Marine Observatory.

Coffs Coast Ocean Swim

The Coffs Coast Ocean Swim sees ocean swimmers swim around the iconic timber Coff’s Harbour Jetty at Jetty Beach which helped begin the economic growth of the town in 1892.

There is a swim for everyone with distances ranging from 300m to the 2km main event.

The best part of the event is the atmosphere of everyone cheering each other on from the Jetty above.

When you’ve finished your swim, check out some of the wonderful public artworks by local artists in the vicinity.

The Coffs Coast Ocean Swim

Coogee Jetty to Jetty Swim

The Coogee Jetty to Jetty Swim is known as one of the most enjoyable family-oriented open-water swims in Western Australia and is held between not one, but two jetties.

The event is primarily located at the Coogee Jetty, which has been a popular destination among locals and tourists since the early 1960s for picnics and its ease to dive into the surrounding beautiful blue water.

There is a swim distance for everyone with distances starting at 250m and going up to 1.5km, the later distance sees swimmers make their way from the Coogee Beach Jetty to another jetty at Woodman Point.

Be sure to be on the lookout for Daphne the Duck who is placed at points along the swim and at the finish line to welcome all finishers.

The Coogee Jetty to Jetty

Australia Day Jetty to Jetty

On the 26 January each year in South Australia, ocean swimmers flock to the Australia Day Jetty to Jetty Swim to celebrate with a swim between Henley Jetty and Grange Beach Jetty.

A swim between the Henley and Grange Jetties has been a feature of Australia Day celebrations in South Australia for over 100 years. The tradition began in 1917 when the Henley and Grange Swimming Club held their first event.

Masters swimmers began competing in 1983 as a separate group of swimmers and interest from Masters swimmers has grown and to this day remains high.

Both jetties are constructed from timber, with the Henley Jetty built in 1883 and Grange Jetty built in 1879, and are popular with beach goers and tourists alike.

A blast from the past, swimmers get set to dive off the Henley Jetty (Credit: Masters Swimming SA)

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