Race Info

It's Time to Start Your Adventure

Big Changes for 2022!!!

After an extremely successful inaugural swim event back in March, we have been busy preparing and planning for year two.

We had always earmarked Kelvin Grove as a fantastic start and finish line area.  Very sheltered, with a beautiful beach and great access.  The Bay is sheltered from the prominent south and westerly winds, with crystal waters. Perfect for shorter distances of 1km and 1.9km.  As regular swimmers around the Kelvin Heights Peninsula, finishing at Kelvin Grove beach, we know first hand this is an epic loop.  It has a real sense of wild swimming, an amazing 3.8km loop, that every swimmer will love.

Our big goal was always to incorporate an event that crossed from one side of the Whakatipu to the other, which takes you over depths of 400 metres of chilly water.  The distance from Cecil Peak, Refuge Point to Kelvin Grove beach is exactly 5km.  This would be the perfect opportunity to add a fourth event which would be the most exciting.   A full Crossing of the Whakatipu, finishing at the stunning location of Kelvin Grove in Kelvin Heights.

We look forward to offering 4 new events which allows swimmers to explore a completely new part of Lake Whakatipu…

1km - "The Grove Swim" - sponsored by Southern Sports Podiatry

A great event for those who can swim, but haven’t yet dipped their toes into open water swimming and are feeling a little unsure. Follow behind the Bay swimmers, carefully watched by our safety team. Enjoy the crisp waters and the Legend of the Whakatipu. It maybe the shortest event but you won’t be disappointed.

1.9km - "The Bay Swim" - sponsored by Queenstown Management

A beach start, you’ll run (paddle maybe) into the turquoise blue. A few gasps as the cold fills the wetsuit and you are away around the 1.9km course. With every breathe you can see the surrounding mountains. Pass the large buoy markers, keeping them on you left, soon the finish line will be insight and the tranquil beach of Kelvin Grove.

3.8km - "The Legend Swim"

Legends await. Delivered to the wild side by the infamous Kjet boats. Dive into the blue for a deep water start. Follow the rocky shelf line that guides you, swimming as the abyss disappears sharply below. Eventually you’ll reach the watchful goats, you turn into the calm narrows and around the peninsular. Skim past some jetty’s and over the Earnslaw slipway to find the safety of the Kelvin Grove Beach finish line.

5km - "Haki-te-Kura" sponsored by Hector Egger New Zealand

Legend has it that Hakitekura, the daughter of Tuwiriroa, a Katimore chief, was the first to swim across Lake Whakatipu. Now you can follow in her wake. Ferried from the start line across the mighty Lake Whakatipu at sunrise, you will be delivered to Refuge Point. From here you have a 5km open water swim over the mystical, deep crystal waters. 3km will take you over depths of 400m to the shoreline of the Kelvin Heights Peninsula. From here you follow the rocky shore line, past the watchful goats and into the narrows, around the peninsula into the shelter of the Kelvin Grove Beach to find the finish line. Safety buoy is mandatory during this Race.

Entry Fees and Race Categories

1 km "The Grove Swim"

Early Fee – $55 (up to 15 Oct)

General Fee – $60 (16 Oct – 28 Feb)

Late Fee – $70 (01 Mar – 24 Mar)

Max Swimmers – 100

Categories: U15, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+


1.9 km "The Bay Swim"

Early Fee – $70 (up to 15 Oct)

General Fee – $75 (16 Oct – 28 Feb)

Late Fee – $85 (01 Mar – 24 Mar)

Max Swimmers – 100

Categories: U15, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+


3.8 km "The Legend Swim"

Early Fee – $95 (up to 15 Oct)

General Fee – $105 (16 Oct – 28 Feb)

Late Fee – $120 (01 Mar – 24 Mar)

* includes boat ride

Max Swimmers – 100

Categories: U15, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+


5 km "Haki-te-Kura crossing"

Early Fee – $120 (up to 15 Oct)

General Fee – $145 (16 Oct – 28 Feb)

Late Fee – $165 (01 Mar – 24 Mar)

* includes boat ride

Max Swimmers – 40

Categories: 18-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+


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.

** Please note that cut off times are set for Health and Safety reasons. Cut off times are at the Event Directors and the On Water Safety Teams discretion. Competitors must adhere to all safety crew instructions.

Age Limits

Due to the nature of the event and with safety as our highest regard there are lower age limits for this event.  There are no upper age limits.

Race Rules and Conditions of Entry

Please make sure you have read and are familiar with all our health & safety guidelines and conditions of entry BEFORE Purchasing your entry.

Health and Safety

  1. Swimmers are responsible for their own physical condition and are urged to train appropriately for The Whakatipu Legend (be able to swim the full distance and have open water swimming experience) and have a medical check prior to entry if required
  2. It is important to note that, while every effort will be made to ensure a safe and fun event, organisers and crew are unable to guarantee swimmer safety
  3. A swimmer deemed incapable of completing the course in a satisfactory condition will be brought to shore by Water safety support
  4. While in the water, all swimmers must comply with the directions of race officials
  5. If assistance is required during the swim, swimmers are required to raise one arm so water safety personnel can assist. If this is not possible, the swimmer should roll onto their back to float in a relaxed position and try to alert a lifeguard
  6. In the event of witnessing an injury/accident/medical incident during the swim, report this to one of the lifeguards on the water or on land as soon as possible
  7. In the event of withdrawing from the event, please alert a clearly marked event official. Timing chips need to be returned to indicate the withdrawal
  8. All swimmers should be vigilant when swimming around buoys and passing other swimmers
  9. Less experienced swimmers are encouraged to wear a wetsuit for assistance with buoyancy and warmth
  10. Safety buoy is mandatory during the entire Race for the 5km “Haki-te-Kura Crossing”

All swimmers should think about post-race hydration – we recommend you bring some fluids to hydrate with after your swim.

Event Rules
  1. Fun, good times, comradery, being good buggers and staying safe is rule number 1
  2. All swimmers must be present at the appropriate safety briefing
  3. Swimmers must start the swim within the designated area
  4. Swimmers must swim the course as instructed in the safety-briefing. Failure to do this will result in disqualification
  5. Each swimmer must wear the cap provided. The event cap must be worn on the outside
  6. No swimmer shall be permitted to use or wear any device which may be an aid to their speed, endurance or buoyancy (with the exception of a wetsuit).  Goggles, event swim cap, nose clip and earplugs may be used in all events.  For less confident swimmers a swim safety buoy can be used. For swimmers competing in the 5km “Haki-te-Kura Crossing” Safety buoy is mandatory for this event
  7. Swim Paddles or flipper/fins are not permitted to be used
  8. No swimmer may use alcohol or any illegal, detrimental or dangerous drugs, stimulants, depressants or other substances with the intent to improve their performance, eliminate the sense of fatigue or for any other purpose
  9. Swimmers shall be allowed to use grease or other such substances providing these are not, in the opinion of the Event Director or Event Manager, excessive
  10. Lifeguards, the Event Director and Event Manager shall have ULTIMATE authority to remove a competitor from the swim if the competitor is judged to be physically incapable of continuing the swim without risk of serious injury or death.
  11. No outside assistance is allowed except from technical officials
  12. Purposely obstructing or impeding the progress of other swimmers in the field is prohibited. Doing so will result in disqualification
  13. Good sportsmanship is expected of all swimmers.  Fraud, theft and acts of grossly unsportsmanlike conduct are grounds for disqualification. The determination of whether an act is deemed unsportsmanlike is at the sole discretion of the Event Director.
  14. Swimmers are expected to heed directions and instructions of all event officials and public authorities. The Event Director’s decision is final.
  15. Any protests regarding decisions made by the Event Director or Event Manager must be made in person and received by the Event Director or Event Manager within two hours of finishing the event. You can locate the Event Manager or Event Director through the Registration Tent.
Non Wetsuit Swim
  1. The ‘Non Wetsuit’ category means a standard swim costume. Jammers for men are acceptable.  No neoprene. No rash vests or swim skins.
  2. Swimmers must have trained or completed other cold water swims within the same year.  The water temp could be anywhere between 13.5-17 degrees (bliss).  At the lower temperature range, with no suit, and little exposure, could result in health issues.
Refunds & Cancellations
  1. Online entry closes at 11.59pm Thursday 24th of March. The organisers reserve the right to close entries prior at their discretion.
  2. Competitors wishing to withdraw prior must advise us in writing. Refund of 75% of the entry fee paid until 31st of January. Refund of 50% of the entry fee paid until 28th of February.  Absolutely no refund after 28th of February. All entries are non-transferable to other athletes or other years. Credit card fees are non refundable.
  3. The Whakatipu Legend reserves the right to implement the contingency plan in the interests of competitor safety but will not be held liable for any loss as a result of such a decision. In the event such a decision is made, if the conditions are still deemed to be unsafe, The Whakatipu Legend has sole discretion, and may cancel the Event without obligation to refund entry fees.
  4. Entering the event authorises the use of your name, voice and picture and any information provided by you to be used without payment in any broadcast, communication, promotion, or advertising.
Acknowledgement and Entry Conditions
  1. I will attend the race briefing and pay regard to directions given.
  2. I am medically fit and able to complete this open water swim.
  3. I am aware of and appreciate the inherent risks involved in competing in an open water swim event, including the possibility of injury and accident.
  4. I undertake to compete in the event in a safe and proper manner and to do nothing which would expose myself or fellow competitors to unnecessary risk or injury.
  5. I acknowledge that the organisers of the open water swim are unable to guarantee my safety.
  6. I undertake to inform the organisers of any concerns which I may have as regards the safe conduct of the swim.
  7. I am not suffering from any medical condition or disability which would make it inadvisable for me to compete in this event.
  8. I have read and understood the above provisions and agree to abide by them.
  9. I understand that the organisers retain the absolute and undisputed right to refuse my entry.
  10. I understand that the Safety Officer has the sole responsibility of deciding on whether to start and or the continuation of the race should conditions be unsuitable on the day.
  11. I understand that it is expected that swimmers will take no longer than 30 minutes per kilometer in the water and after the following times the swimmer maybe withdrawn by the Safety Officer.
  12. I consent to the event organisers using my name, image and likeness before, during or after the event for event promotional purposes in any marketing media, social media, official sponsor campaigns and for broadcasting or reporting purposes in any media.
  13. I will wear the event timing chip as directed by the event organisers. I must return the timing chip after the event (whether I participate or not) otherwise I will be charged by the event organisers, and I agree to pay $50 for its non-return.
  14. I agree to my name and contact details being included on the event and email database. Event specific email communications and messages from event partners will be sent to me. I have the ability to unsubscribe from this at any time.
  15. I acknowledge that by reason of circumstances beyond the control of the event organisers, it may become necessary or desirable to change the format of the event, and if that occurs, I consent to the changes and I agree that each and every one of the conditions herein set out shall apply to that changed event.
  16. Due to the committed outgoing costs, if the event is cancelled due to any ‘act of God or nature’, strike, lockout, fire, flood, storm, explosion, revolution, riot, act of war, earthquake, landslide, (pan) epidemic, national day of mourning or any other act or event that is beyond our reasonable and foreseeable control, I understand that my entry fee will not be refunded.
  17. I hereby certify that I am the minimum age or older as specified for my chosen event.