This is a book about New Zealanders and their deep connection to swimming in the outdoors. Every neighbourhood has its swimming hole up the river, its local beach, or a back road to the lake. A love of swimming is one of the things that defines Kiwis, and all over the country the start of summer is marked by most of us heading for the water.
Swim is the result of Annette Lees' personal quest to swim every day of a full year in the natural waterways of New Zealand. From Northland to Fiordland, she swam outdoors through the four seasons in rivers, lakes, ponds, the sea, estuaries, wetlands, springs and outdoor lido pools. Across the country people shared swimming stories of their own, introduced elderly family swimmers who swim right through winter, and invited her to try their local, often secret, swimming places.
During her watery adventure Annette discovered New Zealanders' serious passion for water and swimming. She collected stories of urban swims, night swims, forbidden swims, swimming in the dead of winter, Maori legends of swimming feats, the endurance swimmers of the Depression, and the swimming ANZACs.
These memories and stories go back hundreds of years and this inspiring and beautifully written book reminds us to appreciate this precious aspect of New Zealand life.