Search all sites near me now
Search your favourite swimming spots

Lake Opunake at boat ramp

The lake is used for picnicking and boating. Ducks are common at the lake and investigations have shown that bathing guideline exceedances at this site are caused by birdlife.

For all sites, the Council advises :

Avoid for three days after heavy rain, if the lake is high, or if you cannot see the bottom clearly.

Summer recreational surveys for both 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 showed that 92% of samples met the freshwater microbiological water quality guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Ministry of Health (MfE, 2003)  and did not exceed the ‘Action’ level (>550 E.coli/100mls). 

The State of the Environment technical report showing the freshwater recreational monitoring results for 2016-2017 is available at

Recreational water quality

Summer Monitoring:

Many councils monitor popular recreational sites weekly over the summer months. This lets swimmers know what the most recent bacteria (E. coli) levels were. Remember, even for sites where the monitoring has shown an acceptable to swim test result, some conditions can make them unsuitable to swim in from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming after heavy rainfall for 48 hours.

Overall Recreation Risk:

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site over the recreational bathing season. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (E. coli) data collected over the last three years during the summer monitoring months. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

See the factsheet on coastal and freshwater recreation monitoring for more information.

  • Summer season monitoring

    A recent snapshot based on a single sample


    Show more information Hide

    Summer season monitoring history

    • Last 4 Samples
    • All samples this season
    E. coli sampling graph
    E. coli sampling table
    Sample Date Status Result Observations

    What do the icons mean?

    Acceptable – continue routine monitoring
    Acceptable – Alert. Increase monitoring and investigate source
    Unacceptable – Action. Immediate re-sample, public warning issued if required, increased monitoring and investigate source
  • Overall recreation risk

    The long term risk status based on three years of data

    {{rating() | uppercase}}

    Show more information Hide

    Overall recreation risk information

    Human health for primary recreation: overall recreation risk
    Minimum data points required 30 Number of data points available {{dataPoints() | number:0}}
    Lowest E. coli per 100ml value {{minValue() | number:0}} Highest E. coli per 100ml value {{maxValue() | number:0}}
    Hazen percentile result {{hazenResult() | number:0}} Overall recreation risk {{rating()}}

    What do the icons mean?

    People are exposed to a very low risk of infection (less than 0.1%) from contact with the water.
    People are exposed to a low risk of infection (between 0.1 and 1%) from contact with the water.
    People are exposed to a moderate risk of infection(between 1 and 5%) from contact with the water.
    People are exposed to a high risk of infection (greater than 5%) from contact with the water.
    There are not enough data points (samples) at this site to generate an Overall Recreation Risk result.

This data is collected by trained council staff and analysed by accredited laboratories. Regional Councils are currently reviewing the methodology of how to best calculate recreational water quality. Once new guidelines are established, they will be applied to this data and the appropriate Cawthron Tick will be given.

Recreational activities
Site suitable for these activities
  • Suitable for swimming
  • Suitable for fishing
  • Suitable for boats/kayaking
  • Suitable for picnicing
  • Suitable for walking
  • Suitable for dogs