NEWCASTLE’S iconic Australia Day harbour swim will return next year after the management team gained approval to run the event.

There were fears the trans-harbour swim would never return after our club was forced to cancel it in January last year due to safety concerns and “increased marine activity”.

Club president Callan Nickerson said the swim had been running for 24 years and had only been cancelled twice.

“It’s a really uniquely Newcastle event and we wanted to ensure it had a future,” he said.

“The swim is great way to kick off your Australia Day and not something that we wanted to lose. You don’t get to swim across the world’s biggest coal port every day.”

Up to 400 swimmers from across NSW and Queensland are expected to compete in the ocean swim on January 26.

Original story:

Things you should know…

  • Event – 22nd Australia Day Newcastle Harbour Swim
  • Organiser and beneficiary – Stockton Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC)
  • Distances – 1.4km, 700m. Single Crossing (from Stockton to Newcastle) is 700m and is a social swim. Age minimum 12 years. Double Crossing (from Newcastle to Stockton and back) is 1400m and has a minimum age of 14. It features prize money for the fastest three male and female swimmers. All swims are timed and swim times can be checked after the event.
  • Venue – Stockton to Newcastle Swim first (Single Crossing). Starts at the Stockton Ferry Wharf (in the water) and finishes in the Queens Wharf Quay. Newcastle to Stockton and back (Double Crossing) follows at 11am. Starts at Queens Wharf in Newcastle (in the water), crosses the Hunter River, goes around a string of cairns in front of Stockton Ferry Wharf, and back across the Harbour to Queens Wharf Quay.
  • Time/Date – Friday, January 26, 2018, 10am (700m from Stockton side), then 11am (1.4km from Newcastle Queens Wharf), which is pretty much around the low tide mark.
  • Ferries pre-race – Ferries taking swimmers to the start of the 700m at Stockton will leave Newcastle side at 9:30am and 10:30am approximately.
  • Prizes – In the main event, $250 1st, M/F, $150 2nd M/F, $100 3rd M/F. Quality, non-cash prizes for all the M/F category and ‘Team of 4’ podium finishers (including 12-13 year olds on their Single Crossing). All entrants can get a Certificate on completion of the swim. Podium finishers must swim un-assisted (no flippers or other aids).
  • Teams – “Teams of 4” (To4) can be made up of mixed genders and ages in the Double Crossing. (To4 swimmers times will be averaged to establish the top three teams). To register as a team, all team members must first register as individuals, then Team Manager must complete the Team Entry form, listing all four swimmers along with their individual registration numbers. Team registrations close at noon on Friday, January 25. To register your team.. Click here
  • Categories – Kids 12-13, Junior 14-15, Open 16-39, Master 40-59, Grand Master over 60.
  • Registration – Online, or on race day (cash only) and until half hour before your event.
  • Entry fee – $50 for the main event (the Double Crossing, 14 years of age and upwards). Single crossing $30 for Adults, $20 for Kids 12-13 years old. Add $20 for an Event T-shirt or Singlet.
  • Event t-shirt – Full colour print Royal Blue T-shirt or loose style Charcoal singlets for $20 for swimmers. $30 otherwise. If you wish to order event t-shirts separately from entering the swim… Click here
  • Online entries close – 3pm, Thursday, January 25, 2018
  • Under 18 swimmers – Parents/guardians of swimmers aged under 18 must complete the online entry form, not the swimmers themselves. Parents/guardians must include their consent to the entry with full name and phone contact. Just a phone number, a first name, or a number and first name, or even just a surname, will not do and entries will not be accepted. Entries of U18 swimmers are not complete without this complete parental/guardian consent.
  • Conditions – It’s a Harbour Swim and not affected by swell but it is influenced by tidal currents (very low tide on race day. Turning at 10.20 am). Please listen carefully to pre-race instructions.
  • Minimum age – 12 (700m), 14 (1.4km)

For more information and to register, please visit