Canadian adventurer out to swim 338km length of Otago’s Clutha River

John McKenzie
Source: 1News

It’s a piece of water often reserved for jet skiers and kayaks, but a piece of water Canadian Rob Hutchings is looking to conquer on his own.

The now Christchurch-based open water swimmer is hoping to become the first person ever to swim the entire 338km Clutha river.

“Some people think there must be a reason… I just like swimming,” says Hutchings.

Hutchings started his journey in Wanaka yesterday morning, swimming more than 50km before stopping in Cromwell overnight.

Day two proved even tougher, taking just over five hours to swim the Cromwell Gorge to the Clyde Dam for lunch.

“Someone said to him that the Clutha could be possibly swimmable, but you’d be a complete idiot to do it,” joked wife Tansy Boggon.

The swim will be downstream, with Hutchings saying not even Michael Phelps could swim it upstream.

“This is going to be the biggest adventure I’ve had in New Zealand and probably the biggest adventure in my life,” he says. 

The Canadian is hoping to finish his journey to just south of Balclutha on Monday.

Anyone wishing to follow his journey, can do so through his Facebook page.