KEEN swimmers can take the plunge again next year crossing Newcastle Harbour for the annual Australia Day swim.
Entries are open for the 27th event, which will be held on January 26 from 10am to midday.
Once a year swimmers are legally allowed to cross the world's largest coal port, when the harbour master halts shipping and gives Stockton Surf Lifesaving Club permission to stage the race.
The annual event is considered to be one of the richest ocean races in the country and attracts competitors from across the state.
There is $1000 on offer for the male and female winners of the 1400m event, $500 for second place and $250 for third.
The swim is Stockton surf club's largest annual fundraiser and all money raised goes towards life saving equipment.
Participants swim either the 700m social single crossing, which starts from Stockton at 10am, or the 1400m double-crossing, which starts from Queens Wharf at 11am.
Water-safety staff on boards, jet skis and rubber duckies accompany swimmers across the harbour.
Newcastle-bred Olympic swimmers Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Justin Norris are both previous winners of the 1400m race.
Early-bird entries are open until midnight December 31, costing $60 for the 1400m event, compared to $100 on the day, and $50 for the 700m swim, compared to $80 on the day.
The 700m event is open to children aged 12 and 13 costing $40 for entries up to midnight December 31, compared to $70 on the day.
While participants can use swimming aids such as flippers and pool buoys, prizes and podium acknowledgement is only awarded to swimmers not using aids.
For more information and how to register visit.