Lake Te Anau Swim
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There are some pretty tough Fiordlanders out there. It's no surprise that there's an annual Swim Lake Te Anau event across the whole width of Lake Te Anau, sponsored by the Sandfly Cafe. It's a whopping distance of 2.4km in an incredibly deep mountain lake. The lake is 214m above sea level, but gets as deep as 417m, meaning much of it is below sea level.
The swim attracts olympic-standard athletes and the winner usually crosses in a mind-boggling half an hour or so. That's fast. The event takes place in January.
Where can you see superman and someone in pyjamas clutching a teddy bear diving in to a mountain lake? We train our cold water swimmers young! Te Anau primary school runs an annual fundraiser for the oldest children, which involves them and often their parents, often in fancy dress gear, plunging in to Lake Te Anau - in the middle of winter.
This event, hilariously held infreezing June, is always followed by lots of hot drinks, sausages in a bun, and towels as well as laughter. Information on this years polar plunge from Te Anau School.
Safety advice on swimming in our lakes
While Lake Te Anau and Manapouri Lake are both lovely and warm at the edges in summer and perfect for family swimming in many safe locations, they are very deep lakes and always cold in the middle, so swimmers have to keep moving and fast in order to stay warm. Swimming the lakes should not be attempted unless you are an expert long distance, cold-water swimmer, and only then with a boat for support. Children should of course be watched at all times when swimming from our beaches.