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Can I swim here?

Auckland region and parts of Waikato are at Alert Level 3.  Under Alert Level 3, you may swim or surf locally if the conditions are safe and within your limits. More details about recreational activities in Level 3 here.

The rest of New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 2.  More details about recreational activities in Level 2 here.

For the latest information and to learn what to do to stay safe visit


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.   We hope to see you again next summer.


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

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.
  • If you can’t see your toes in calf deep water, it is best to wait until the water clears before taking a dip. 


  • Stay safe, and look out for potential hazards (e.g. strong currents, tidal rips, underwater objects, steep drop-offs, or stinging jellyfish at beaches).
  • 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.  This is why we recommend that you avoid swimming for 2 - 3 days after heavy rain, even at sites that usually have good water quality.  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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