It’s summer, so if you want to cool off and make the most of the sunny weather, dust off your togs and take a roadie to some of the catchment’s awesome swim spots. There are a lot of places to safely take a dip, but if you don’t know where to start we can help.
When selecting a swim spot always keep an eye out for hazards, such as overhanging cliffs, submerged rocks or debris, and strong currents. Before you jump into the water you should also consider these guidelines to swim safely:
- If the water looks clean and clear and it’s a sunny day it should be safe to swim.
- It is safest to wait for the water to clear after rain before swimming at a river or stream swimming spot. If it is 3 days after rain and the water is not dirty or fast flowing, it should be safe to swim.
- If musty smelling, black slimy mat-like growths are observed on river bed stones during low river flows, it is best for you and your dog to avoid using the river.
- Check for submerged objects, strong currents and rips.
There are 27 swim spots across the catchment that are monitored by Horizons Regional Council on a weekly basis during the swim season (1 November – 30 April). They do this so our community can stay informed and have access to up to date, reliable information about potential health risks. The most recent status is displayed on swim spot maps on Horizons website and on the Land Air Water Aoteroa (LAWA) website. LAWA is the most comprehensive and up to date source of recreational water quality information for New Zealand, check out their website to get swim spot locations, information about facilities, and the latest information about water quality. Find out more about water monitoring in our catchment on the Science Page.
For the last three years, Accord member Horizons Regional Council has run a region-wide annual swim spot photo competition. The prize is a water related family holiday! All you have to do is post a picture of your favourite swim spot to the Horizons Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts with #swiminourregion and tag the location. Then you will go in the draw to win a family adventure package for four, up to the value of $1,500 inc GST. Check out this video of last year’s winners rafting on the Rangitīkei.