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Can I swim here?

Find the best places to swim this summer for over 750 beach, river and lake sites throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. Water quality results are updated as soon as results are available, so you can see the latest water quality information to decide where to swim.  Select a site to see water quality test history, available facilities, and more information on recreational monitoring.  Desktop users can see a map view of the sites.

Recreational water quality monitoring runs from November / December through to March for most regions.  Predicted water quality results from the Auckland and Wellington regions are available year round.   

COVID-19 Advice:  Help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those around you by continuing to keep up these healthy habits.  Further information on recreational activities in and around our waterways under the COVID-19 protection framework can be found here.

Water quality

  • Check the water quality information for the site.  
  • Know how to spot potentially toxic algae in rivers or lakes so you can avoid it.
  • Avoid swimming near potential sources of contamination such as flocks of birds, storm water or waste water outlets.

Clean and clear

  • Avoid swimming for at least 2 - 3 days after heavy or prolonged rain, even for sites that have good water quality.
  • Don't swim if the water is murky or smells unpleasant.  It is best to wait until the water clears before taking a dip. 


  • Check for hazards (e.g. strong currents, tidal rips, underwater objects, steep drop-offs, or stinging jellyfish at beaches).
  • Know your limits, and never swim alone.  If in doubt, stay out.
  • Follow the advice in any warnings and alerts. 

LAWA is the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of recreational water quality information for New Zealand. LAWA provides this information so you can use it as a guide to decide where and when to swim.  Please note that water quality monitoring results are representative at the time of sampling.  Water quality can change over time, especially during periods of significant rain or unexpected pollution events.  If you are unsure, please check with the relevant council or choose another site to swim.  Water quality results from weekly monitoring are not intended to provide a guide on suitability for swimming outside the recreational bathing season.  LAWA takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information presented, and accepts no liability for actions taken of others based on this information.

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