Interislander Swim the Lighthouse – 31 January 2021

There’s no doubt that the picture-postcard-worthy Wellington harbour is a firm favourite every year in the Series, and we’re making sure the best of the capital’s waterfront is centre-stage for the 15th year running.

The Interislander Swim the Lighthouse (fondly knowns as the Capital Classic in previous years) is set in the heart of the action, starring the famous fountain and Pt Jerningham lighthouse as well as the pine tree-lined Oriental and Freyberg beaches. Your ‘best weekend story’ is guaranteed on Monday morning at work when you casually mention you swam around the fountain – is a classically-Wellington brag!

The vibrant event base at Freyberg Beach will keep your support crew entertained with an array of family-friendly activities (think sand-castles, beach games and ice blocks!) and inspiring finish-line celebrations.

Swims on offer:

  • Round the Lighthouse – 3.3km
  • Round the Fountain – 1000m
  • Round the Fountain – 500m
  • Banana Boat OceanKids – 100m and 200m (7–10 years)

Enter on the Day!!

Enter Here: 

Key Event Information

Course Maps

Swim the Lighthouse

Banana Boat OceanKids

Distance: 100m & 200m Start Location: Freyberg Beach Enter Now
Banana Boat OceanKids

Pricing & Benefits

Start Times & Event Timetable

Event Day General Info

Event location

The event headquarters is situated at Freyberg Beach on Oriental Parade, Wellington.

Swim Pack Pickup

Multi-Event Pass holders (you have entered two or more swims in the series):
If you have a Multi-Event Pass, you can pick up your swim pack on Saturday 30 January between 3:00 – 5:00 pm from the main event site at Freyberg  Beach or on Sunday 31 January between 6:30 – 8:15 am from the main event site at Freyberg Beach.

Individual event entry

If you entered The Interislander Swim the Lighthouse as a single event you must collect your swim pack on the morning of the event. Your swim pack will contain a swim cap, timing chip & velcro strap (both must be returned). You can collect your swim pack Sunday 31 January as follows from the main event site at Freyberg Beach.

Round the Lighthouse 3.3km – 6:30- 8:15 am

Round the Fountain 1000m & 500m – 8:15- 11:30 am

Banana Boat OceanKids 100m & 200m – 10:15 am- 12:30 pm

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.

3.3k – 2hrs

1000m- 40mins & 500m – 20mins

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

Age limits

3.3km- 12 years and above

1000m- 10 years and above

500m- 8 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!


The 3.3km &1000m swim prizegiving will be held at 10:40 am at the main event site at Freyberg Beach. 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.

Freyberg Pools

The team at Freyberg Pools have offered swimmers the use of their changing rooms and showers after your swim. The pools are located at the top of the main event site on Oriental Parade.

Travel & Accommodation


If you’re traveling from the South Island, our event partner Interislander can get you across Cook Strait with regular ferry crossings from Picton. If you’re traveling from within the North Island, why not make your trip to Wellington a journey and travel on the Northern Explorer?


If you’re traveling to Wellington for this event, be sure to visit our series partner Bachcare for a holiday home rental.


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 are 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! As a fast growing company they cover the Wairarapa region with over 30 homes perfect for a long weekend getaway, however Bachcare are not currently offering Wellington city escapes. 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 Freyberg Beach. 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.


Car Parking

There is plenty of on street parking around Oriental Bay, however bear in mind there are existing Residents Only car parks in place 24hrs a day. You may need to park and walk a distance to the event site, but it would be hard to think of a more picturesque walk than around Oriental Bay!

All Stars Zonal Secondary School Open Water Swimming Championships

NZSS Open Water Champs All Stars logo
The Interislander Swim the Lighthouse is proud to host the 2021 All Stars Zonal Secondary School Open Water Swimming Championships. All swimmers enrolled in a Secondary School (Year 9-13) within the All Stars 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 500m, 1000m and 3300m. 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!