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Can I swim here?

Find the best places to swim over the summer months for over 700 recreational sites throughout Aotearoa.  

Select a site from the list below to find the water quality test history, what facilities are available, and helpful information on recreational monitoring in New Zealand.

Our factsheet has detailed information on what the LAWA swim icons mean.  


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. 

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.

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