At the first few modern Olympic Games swimming events were held in open water, but in 1908 events moved indoors to a pool built on the infield of an athletics stadium for the London Games.
New Zealand's first Olympic gold medalist was swimmer Malcolm Champion, who won in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay at the 1912 Stockholm Games as part of a combined team with Australia.
Since then, New Zealand has won another six medals in the pool - three bronze, one silver and two gold. Jean Stewart won bronze in the 100m backstroke in Helsinki in 1952, while Paul Kingsman and Anthony Mosse won bronze in Seoul 1988 in the 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly, respectively.
Danyon Loader, New Zealand's greatest Olympic swimmer to date, won silver in the 200m butterfly in Barcelona in 1992 before going on to win two golds in the 200m and 400m freestyle events at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
This year, New Zealand will send a 16-strong team to the London - the biggest to qualify for an Olympics. There are few genuine medal chances, but three athletes have emerged as contenders to reach the finals.
For Glenn Snyders, getting to the Olympics has been a dream since 2006 and he will achieve that for a second time this year in London, competing in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and 4 x 100m medley relay.
In 2008, he represented New Zealand at the Beijing Games, but failed to make much of an impact. However, he made up for that disappointment at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, winning silver in the 100m breastroke, and is now ranked in the top six in the world in that event.
The 25-year-old's other major achievements include reaching the semifinals in the 100m and 200m breastroke at the 2011 Swimming World Championships in Shanghai; winning two gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen; and bagging three golds and a silver during the European leg of the 2011 Swimming World Cup.
Gareth Kean is a first-time Olympian and will compete in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and 4 x 100m medley relay.
The 20-year-old burst onto the international scene at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, winning silver in the 200m backstroke.
Since then, he's been touted as one of New Zealand's brightest future prospects in the pool and won the Emerging Talent Award at the 2010 Halberg Sports Awards.
Kean was a finalist in the 100m backstroke at the 2011 Swimming World Championships in Shanghai and won a gold and two bronzes at the the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen.
Lauren Boyle is a freestyle specialist and will compete in four events at the London Olympics - the 200m, 400m, 800m and 4 x 200m freestyle relay.
The 24-year-old won bronze in the 200m freestyle relay at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and competed in her first Olympics at the Beijing Games.
She cemented herself as one of the country's brightest medal prospects for London after leading the New Zealand team to the silver medal in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Boyle has performed consistently since then, reaching the finals in the 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 4 x 200m freestyle relay at the 2011 Swimming World Championships in Shanghai, and capped an excellent year by winning two golds, a silver and a bronze medal at the World University Games in Shenzhen.
Men: Daniel Bell (100m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 4x100m relay), Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (4x200m freestyle relay), Gareth Kean (100/200m backstroke, 4x100m medley relay), Steven Kent (4x200m freestyle relay), Andy McMillan (4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay), Carl O'Donnell (4x100m medley relay), Glenn Snyders (100m, 200m breastroke, 4x100m medley relay), Matthew Stanley (200m, 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay).
Women: Lauren Boyle (200m, 400m, 800m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay), Amaka Gessler (4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m freestyle relay), Natasha Hind (4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m freestyle relay), Melissa Ingram (100m, 200m backstroke, 4x200m freestyle relay), Samantha Lucie-Smith (4x200m freestyle relay), Penelope Marshall (4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m freestyle relay), Hayley Palmer (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay), Natalie Wiegersma (200m, 400m individual medley).
Some information sourced from www.olympic.org.nz
Where and when
Swimming: At the Aquatics Centre at Olympic Park from 28 July to 4 August.
Marathon swimming: The 10km event takes place in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. Women's: 9 August; Men's: 10 August.