Use this page to check if it's safe to swim at your local river or beach. Our science team check the water quality at popular swimming spots over summer.
Our science team regularly check water quality at 37 popular swimming spots over summer so you can make sure it’s safe to swim at your local beach or river. Use the 'Can I swim here' web app below to quickly check you're good to go!
We only show the most popular spots on this app - if your swimming spot doesn't appear, head to LAWA here. You'll also find lots more information about all the spots we check, and if you are heading away you can find other swimming spots throughout New Zealand on the LAWA website.
When we have had heavy rain, it flushes debris and pollution from town and rural land into waterways. This is why we advise you not to swim for 2 – 3 days after heavy rain – even at places that generally have good water quality. Check that the water is clean and clear before taking a dip too. A handy guide is: if you can't see your toes when standing knee-deep in water, then the water quality is not the best for a swim.
Waipuka Stream and Puhokio Stream are generally less suitable for swimming and playing in as they sometimes have higher bacteria levels. The Waipuka Stream and Puhokio Stream are tested every two weeks as they have signs up warning of the health risks at all times. The Regional Council, community groups and landowners are working to improve water quality in these places.
Swimming or taking your dog to local rivers this summer?
Check out our information page about toxic algae so you know what to look out for.
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