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184 Main Collins Street | West victoria 8007

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Lake Tahi

Lake Swim Fitness and Coached Open Water Group

Welcome to our swim offerings on Sunday mornings at Lake Tahi/Roto Kohatu Reserve, Sawyers Arms Road.


Coached Open Water Group; 0700 – 0800

We are proud to introduce a new open water ‘pool’ concept to Lake Tahi this year that provides swimmers a safe setting in which to take their swimming from the pool to an open water environment.
* an inflatable E-shaped dock will be setup in the lake with 60m lane lines running off it, connected to buoys at the other end.
* from the dock Dan Abel will coach a one hour squad.
* as part of this group session you can expect skills, drills, fitness and fun to support the development of your swimming.

This squad is for swimmers;
* transitioning from the pool to open water
* keen to develop their open water skills
* who enjoying training in a supportive group environment.

The location of this ‘pool’ setup will be inside the lake fitness course loops to avoid swimmer cross-over.

Lake Swim Fitness; 0630 – 0830

Lake Swim Fitness is a unique open water swimming opportunity. We setup, manage and provide safety for two courses on the lake; a 400m loop and a 900m loop, allowing you to choose your preferred distance, progress at your own pace and add variety to your training. You will see in the below map, the two course options, both operating in an anti-clockwise direction, with the short course turn at the yellow buoy.

Lake Swim Fitness is not a coached session, but is a brilliant opportunity for you to train with friends in a safe and supervised open water environment and increase your swimming fitness and open water swimming skills. You can swim for as long or as little as you like between the operating times.

Lake Fitness Course Setup

We provide complimentary tea and coffee for you to enjoy post swim while chatting with other swimmers, please bring your own KeepCup.

Feedback from a newbie to the open water: “it was amazing, loved it. I loved how it was all set up so well, greeted on arrival – made to feel so welcome, and Penelope explaining the course and how it all worked, loved how regard for safety was a priority as I felt a bit nervous – however knowing an IRB was out there was reassuring. Everyone was friendly and I really enjoyed the hot coffee at the end!!! Thanks again to your wonderful team”Ellen.






Sunday 06 November Sunday 11 December** Sunday 15 January Sunday 12 February
Sunday 13 November Sunday 22 January Sunday 26 February
Saturday 19 November
Sunday 27 November

** On Sunday 11 December the PaknSave Triathlon Festival is taking place at Lake Rua and the surrounding area. There will be road closures from 0730 – 0930 on this morning. The below is how our morning schedule will run for this one Sunday only.
– Gates open for Lake Tahi at 0615, swimming starts 0630. You can enter and leave Lake Tahi as per normal between 0615 and 0725.
– From 0730 the roads will be closed, and we will be ‘locking in’ from 0730 – 0930 at Lake Tahi. Pedestrian access only during this period, no cars can drive in or out.
– Lake Fitness will run from 0630 – 0915 providing you almost three hours of swimming bliss!
– Coached Open Water Group will run 0700 – 0800 as per normal. If you wish to attend this group, but leave the area before 0930, you will need to park outside the road closure area and walk in and out.
Please note – you are only ‘locked in’ if you choose to drive in and park at the Lake for swimming between 0730 and 0930. If you choose to walk in, you can arrive and depart when it suits you. Or arrive for the 0630 start, and depart before 0725 if you wish to drive in.
Clear as mud? 😉 Any questions – flick us an email; info@fitandabel.com


  • For the Coached Open Water Group, please be ready for the session at 0655.
  • Last entry into the water for Lake Fitness is 30mins before the closing time, and last lap is 15mins before closing time.
  • Swimmers must pre-register online or at the lake for either activity. We suggest you pre-book for the squad as numbers are limited.
  • When booking online, purchase the “Lake Tahi Swim Pass”, then allocate it to the activity you are registering for. The same pass is applicable for Lake Swim Fitness OR the Coached Open Water Group. Once purchased, the swim pass is valid for the 2022/2023 season only.
  • When you arrive on the day, before entering the water, you must sign in with a staff member, and then on exiting the water you must sign out.
  • There are some Sundays throughout summer that Lake Fitness isn’t operating due to other events, please check the calendar carefully. On one occasion we will be operating on a Saturday, instead of Sunday, due to a Jet Ski competition taking place.
  • There will be no Lake Fitness over the Christmas/New Year period
  • Minimum ability for Lake Fitness swimming is 1500m continuous in the pool. This is to ensure you feel comfortable whilst in the open water. If you are not yet at this level we recommend attending our Waltham Pool coached groups or having a private lesson with Dan or Chloe. We can support your development and help you build to a capable open water level.
  • Parking is available next to the lake. The access gate will be open from 0615. Access is off Sawyers Arms Road, please look for the entranceway you see in the photo, it is past the main stone entrance into the reserve.



  • The Lake is only open for swimming at certain times. Please be aware of these times and ensure you adhere to them. Swimming outside of the set times jeopardises the access of all open water swimmers to the Lake.
  • You must either register and pay online, or register and pay on the day, before getting in the water for either activity.
  • Swimming routes and procedures must be adhered to at all times please
  • All swimmers must wear a bright cap: Orange, Pink, Red or Yellow
  • The long course is approximately 900m in length for one lap, and the short course is approximately 400m in length for one lap.
  • The swim route is anti-clockwise, it runs directly between the four Fit&Abel/RealSwim buoys.
  • Minimum age for Lake Swim Fitness is 13 years on the day. Please contact us (info@fitandabel.com) if you have a younger child who is keen to swim.
  • Minimum age for Coached Open Water Group is 16 years on the day. Please contact us if you have a younger child who is keen to swim.
  • All other buoys are permanent fixtures in the lake and should be used as secondary navigation aids only.
  • All swimmers must sign out of the water at the completion of their swim.
  • Nervous swimmers/first-timers are encouraged to speak with staff before their swim and it is highly recommended that you wear a tow float.
  • Swim Safety is provided. It is an additional safety layer but not a guarantee of your safety.
  • You should be fit and comfortable before undertaking these swim activities at the lake. We also encourage you to swim with a buddy, any time you swim in the open water. If you require assistance roll onto your back and raise one arm in the air. Stay calm.
  • Staff instructions should be obeyed at all times for your safety and for the safety of other swimmers.


For any inquiries about our Lake Tahi swimming activities, please email: info@fitandabel.com

A big thank you to the Canterbury Jet Sport Club and the ECAN Harbour Office for enabling this fantastic sharing of open water space.

Join us for open water swimming activities this summer!
Email Us today to learn more about the Fiordland RealSwim Adventure.



The below is hidden on all screen sizes. Its being left here for the 2019 winter season and when requested by Dan, it can be dragged back into the section above where it will display.