Frequently asked questions

How cold is the lake?


Depends. Lake temperatures sit around 16/17C in mid-January, but can drop to 14/15C after a big rain or snowfall or even climb to 19/20C in a heatwave. We post recent temp readings on the home page in the 'speech bubble' beside the main logo




Do I have to wear a wetsuit?


No, wetsuits are not compulsory. We recommend them, especially for long races. If you are susceptible to cold or are inexperienced in fresh water, please consider wearing a wetsuit, but as 'No Wetsuit' is a thing, we have 'No Wetsuit' categories in the longer 2.5km, 3.8km & 10km swims.




What conditions would cause a cancellation?


If lake conditions prevent the water safety crew from keeping competitors safe, the event could be altered or cancelled. Anything that puts people at risk or makes swimming unsafe could be cause for cancellation. If the Event is cancelled on the day, refunds will not be made. The cutoff wind speed for postponment by a few hours but on the same day or ultimately cancellation is 22knots from a Northwesterly/Westerly direction.




How do I enter?


Click the ENTER button on our homepage. Entry is by online pre-registration ONLY. Details on dates and times are all there.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no in-person registrations at Kai Whakapai Cafe or on the day (excepting Little Gems). You must register online prior to 4pm of the Thursday before race day.




I registered, but now I want to change to a different race. Can I do that?


Yup, if there is space in the event you want. Send us an email.




I registered, but now I cannot race. Can I get a refund?


Should the event be cancelled by December 20th you will receive a refund of 75% of the entry fee. Should the event be cancelled after December 20th entry fees are strictly non-refundable. If you have to withdraw for whatever reason: Competitors wishing to withdraw prior must advise us in writing. Competitors withdrawing prior to midnight on the 30th December will receive a 50% refund. Competitors withdrawing from the 1st January and prior to midnight on the 16th January will receive a 25% refund. No refunds will be given after January16th. If weather conditions force the cancellation of the event, no refund will be provided.




What do I get if I win my event?


Prize money will be split equally between the fastest female and male finishers of The Ruby (2.5km) and the winners will receive an exclusive 'Ruby Ring'. Prize money is presented in the other events also. Trophies will be awarded to the fastest female and male finishers in all events. Additional prizes may be presented.

If you win your age group, congratulations! Please understand that we don’t make age group presentations, because there are too many positions - (5 races, 2 genders, 8 age groups = 80 1st place swimmers).




Are there separate categories for “non-wetsuit” swimmers?


Yes, but it means you must swim in togs (a plain old swimsuit). Swim skins, neoprene shorts, FINA approved swimwear (anything with enhanced buoyancy, compression, material) does not count. Skin means 'skin'.




I am a strong swimmer, but I am under the minimum age. Can I still swim?


If you are under the allowed age for a given race, you must apply to compete. This requires you submit written consent by a parent/guardian or a written recommendation from your swim coach. You must receive written approval from the Race Administration in response to your application.

Underage competitors will be required to tow an inflated orange safety buoy; this is to help identify them to safety marshals.

Little Gems 200m - 6 – 11 years old.

The Jetty 600m - 12 years old minimum.

The Return Of The Jetty 1.2km - 14 years old minimum.

The Ruby 2.5km - 14 years old minimum.

The Iron Ruby 3.8km - 16 years old minimum.

The Ruby5 5km - 16 years old minimum.

The Ruby10 10km - 16 years old minimum.




Will there be food, drink and merchandise for sale at the Event?


Yup. Bring cash.




Can I park at the Event?


Yes, there will be adequate parking on an adjacent property (see Site Map). If driving, follow directions to the designated area. Parking has been generously provided by private land owners, so please be mindful of their property. Carpool if possible.

If you can, PLEASE walk or bike to the Event along the Millennium Track. It's only about 1.25km from that famous Wanaka Tree (see Map).




What are the biosecurity risks in Lake Wanaka?


What AREN’T the biosecurity risks? Didymo, lake snow, lagrosporium, duck itch, eel measles (ok, that one’s not real). Please make sure your wetsuit is clean and has been dry for 48hrs before the Event. There will be soaking bins for you to dunk your gear afterwards. CHECK, CLEAN, DRY! You should also make sure your wetsuit has been dry for 48hrs before using it in another body of water.