Generation Homes La Grande Swim – 20 February 2021

Bonjour Akaroa! We’re back again in this picturesque seaside village, with an incredible line-up of swims to choose from, starting in the morning this time around to maximise the tranquil conditions in the bay.

The Generation Homes La Grande Swim is essential for your ‘Kiwi Summer Swimming Roadie’ if you’re taking on the only endurance distance in the Series, the 5km ‘Wainui to Akaroa’. Now that’s a reason to fist-pump the sky when you cross that finish line!

Why not make a weekend of it in the beautiful bay area and experience the distinctly French-influenced restaurants, boutiques and galleries.

Swims on offer:

  • Wainui to Akaroa – 5km – cross the Harbour in our longest swim of the Series
  • The Akaroa Bay – 2km
  • Beach to Rec Grounds – 750m
  • Banana Boat OceanKids 100m and 200m (7-10 years)

Key Event Information

Course Maps

Generation Homes
La Grande Swim

Banana Boat OceanKids

Distance: 100m Start Location: Main Beach
Banana Boat OceanKids

Generation Homes
La Grande Swim

Banana Boat OceanKids

Distance: 200m Start Location: Main Beach
Banana Boat OceanKids

Pricing & Benefits

Start Times & Event Timetable

Event Day General Info

Event location

The event headquarters are located at Akaroa Rec Grounds.

Swim pack pickup

Multi-Event Pass Holders.

If you have a Multi-Event Pass, you can pick up your swim pack on Friday 19 February between 3:00 -5:00 pm from the main event site at Akaroa Rec Grounds or on Saturday 20 February between 6:30 – 8:15 am from the long swim start line in Wainui.

Individual event entry (If you have entered two or more swims in the Series).

If you entered La Grande as a single event you must collect your swim pack on the morning of the event. Your swim pack will contain a swim cap, sunscreen, timing chip & velcro strap (both must be returned). The swim distance you entered will determine where you will collect your swim pack from.

Wainui to Akaroa 5km: Saturday 20 February between 6:30 – 8:15 am from the long swim start line at Wainui.

The Akaroa Bay 2km: 8:45 – 10:05 am from the main event site on the Akaroa Rec Grounds

Beach to Rec Grounds 750m: 9:30 – 10:50 am from the main event site on the Akaroa Rec Grounds

Banana Boat Ocean Kids 100m & 200m: 11:00 am – 12:35 pm from the main event site on the Akaroa Rec Grounds

Cut-off times

For safety reasons and to ensure the day runs to schedule, our swims have a cut-off time. The times vary for each swim distance.

Wainui to Akaroa 5km:  3hrs 10mins

The Akaroa Bay 2km: 1hr 15mins

Beach to Rec Grounds 750m: 30mins

Banana Boat OceanKids 100m- 5mins,  Banana Boat OceanKids 200m- 10mins

Age limits

Wainui to Akaroa 5km:  12 years and above

The Akaroa Bay 2km: 12 years and above

Beach to Rec Grounds 750m: 10 years and above

Banana Boat OceanKids 100m & 200m 7-10 year olds

Swim caps & start groups

As part of your swim pack you will receive a silicon swim cap. Each start group has a different coloured cap. Start groups are determined by the speed group you selected in the entry form.

The start groups are calculated by our operations team and are organised by speed groups & entry numbers. These can vary from event to event and we are reluctant to change these as it can affect results.


Live results will be available as soon as you have crossed the finish line. The results link will be updated prior to event day

Post event nutrition

Once you have crossed the finish line one of our awesome crew will be there to meet you with some SOS Hydration or water and a Banana. You will also receive a Tasti bar with your swim pack

BYO drink bottle

As part of our goal to have a greener footprint, we will no longer be offering drinking cups so please remember to bring your own drink bottle. Thanks to the awesome team at SOS Hydration, you can fill your bottle with SOS or water. Look out for our new water station and stay hydrated!


There will be one prizegiving at this event.  The 5km & 2km prizegiving will be held at 11:45 am at the main event site on the Akaroa Rec Grounds. There are medals for overall winners male & female and age groups. All swimmers are welcome to stay around to celebrate and be in to win some awesome spot prizes including a blueseventy wetsuit. You have to be there to win!

Spot prizes

Spot prizes are randomly drawn at each compulsory safety briefing. Listen for your name and go to the registration tent after your swim and collect your prize.

Travel & Accommodation


If you are taking part in the Generation Homes La Grande Swim and need a Cook Strait ferry to get you there, then Interislander are giving participants 25% off Refundable Fares for travel between the 17th and 23rd of February 2021.

Simply head to the booking system and make your booking with the promo code AKAROAOS21 then show your event ticket at Check-in:

Travel window: between the 17th and 23rd of Feb 2021 (inclusive) Booking window: between now and the 31st of January 2021


Interislander, who are our sponsor of both the Bean Rock Swim and Swim the Lighthouse have a special deal on The Great Journeys of New Zealand™ Scenic trains just for you!

Enjoy 20% off rate of the day for Scenic Class on Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine.



  • Booking period: 10 Nov 2020 – 31 May 2021
  • Travel period: 1 Dec 2020 – 1 Dec 2021
  • Promo code OSS20 must be entered at time of booking to access special rate on Scenic Class only.

Valid on new bookings only. Normal fare conditions apply. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Subject to availability. Proof of entries for Ocean Swim Series 2020/21 season required at check-in.


Keen to travel to this event? Check out our series partner Bachcare for holiday accommodation in Akaroa.

Bachcare is New Zealand’s leading short term rental management company and is excited to be partnering with the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series!

Bachcare is proud to be 100% kiwi owned and manage nearly 2,000 holiday homes throughout the country and growing every day. They have a range of holiday homes from the basic kiwi bach, to luxurious stays for those who want to turn event weekends into a full weekend getaway! Bachcare have 48 holiday homes to choose from in the Auckland region. Book your swim weekend accommodation with Bachcare and save with an exclusive offer to Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim entrants.

Learn more about Bachcare here


Our talented support team from Surf Life Saving NZ will be on the water every stroke of the way and the team from St John on land. Find out more here.

Bag Storage

Bag storage area

An area designated to store your gear bag will be available for all event participants. This will be situated at the main event site on the Rec Grounds. You will need to bring your own small gear bag and label with your surname. Please note, our bag storage is an ‘all care, no responsibility’ service, please do not pack valuable items.

If you are taking the bus from The Rec Grounds in Akaroa to Wainui, you can leave most of your gear in the bag storage area. You can take a small bag with you to Wainui and we will bring it back to the Rec Grounds. Bag labels will be available in Wainui from the event trailer.


Bus to Wainui swim start

The bus is ONE WAY from the main event site in Akaroa. We recommend this option as there is no parking available at the 5km Wainui swim start. You can have a supporter drop you off at the 5k start. If you select this bus transfer you can leave most of your belongings at the Rec Grounds and take a small bag with you which we will transfer back to the finish area.

Departs: Akaroa Recreation Ground (main event site) Cost to come

Bus 1: 6:15 am

Bus 2: 6:30 am

Bus 3: 6:45 am

Your name will be on a list on event day which corresponds with your chosen departure time. This bus is for swimmers only.

If you forgot to get a bus ticket when you registered for the event you can buy one from the shop on our website.


Parking information

Akaroa (All events and 5km swim finish)– There will be some parking on the Akaroa Recreational Grounds. Entry for the Grounds is via Rue Brittan. Please listen to the instructions of parking marshals. Once the Grounds are full you will need to find a park on one of the surrounding Akaroa streets.

Wainui (Wainui to Akaroa 5km Swim Start only) – There is very limited parking at Wainui so please don’t bring your car. We strongly suggest all Wainui to Akaroa 5km swimmers book an Akaroa to Wainui bus transfer. See Transport tab full bus timetable.

Makos Zonal Secondary School Open Water Swimming Championships

NZSS Open Water Champs Makos logo

The Generation Homes La Grande Swim is proud to host the 2021 Makos Zonal Secondary School Open Water Swimming Championships. All swimmers enrolled in a Secondary School (Year 9-13) within the Makos Zone on the date of this event can opt to compete in these championships by selecting their school in the entry form. Championship swim distances include a 750m, 2000m and 5000m. Swimmers will be eligible for both Secondary School and Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series prizes and medals. For more information visit the Swimming New Zealand website. Enter by hitting the big yellow button top right!