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Can I swim here?

Find the best places to swim this summer for over 800 beach, river and lake sites throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.  LAWA updates as new information is available, giving you access to the latest water quality information to decide when and where to swim.

Water quality monitoring programmes run from November to March for most regions. Outside of the main swim season, LAWA displays long-term grades using monitoring data from previous summers.  Predicted water quality results from the Northland, Auckland and Wellington regions are provided year-round. 

Want to dig a little deeper?  Select a site to see the water quality test history, available facilities, how to get to there, and to find out more about recreational water quality 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.
  • Don't swim if the water is murky or smells unpleasant. It is best to wait until it clears before taking a dip. 


  • Check for hazards (e.g. rips or strong river currents, 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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