The best places to swim in Palmy this summer

Published on 19 December 2019

Children playing in the paddling pool.

Get your swim on, Palmy. With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, this is the perfect time to find a new (favourite) swimming spot!

Here are our recommended spots to visit this summer.

Ahimate Beach

On the Manawatū River, Ahimate Reserve is one of the city's newest parks with a major focus on natural play. You won't find your stereotypical playground here. Once you've finished at the dog park, explore the pine forest, use the bike tracks, or climb on logs. Play in the treehouse or in our tree nets - or head down to the river for a dip. It's one of the most popular river swim spots because of its stone beach and cliff face that adrenalin junkies love diving off.

Please be careful if you are swimming at Ahimate Reserve. Over 2021/2022 summer, four people drowned here. Warning signs are now on site:

  • all rivers are unpredictable
  • the Manawatū River gets deep quickly and has a strong current
  • children need to be closely supervised
  • anybody entering the water should check for hazards such as unstable cliffs, sunken logs and debris

Bledisloe Park swimming hole

Within this park close to Massey University and just a wee way into the beautiful 30-minute walk, you'll find the Turitea Stream and a swimming hole to take a quick dip. The sound of some of our native birds singing will make you feel like you're in a rustic spa.

Lido, Freyberg and Splashhurst pools*

When you're trying to stay out of the sun's rays or it's not quite so balmy, head to one of our three local pools for a dip. Freyberg and Splashhurst are both indoor pools, while the Lido has indoor and outdoor pools with an awesome diving pool for the best bombs, and epic slides to entertain big and little kids alike.

Kahuterawa Stream*

Head towards Linton and discover Kahuterawa Reserve, which is a great spot to get away from the city and back to nature. Once you've enjoyed a walk through the park, take a quick dip in the stream to cool down.

Paddling pools at Esplanade and Memorial Park*

Save some water and ditch your paddling pool for one of our public paddling pools, located at Victoria Esplanade and Memorial Park. Perfect for toddlers and young kids, with plenty of seating for parents.

* There are restrooms available at these locations.

Children splashing each other at the pool.  

The paddling pool at the Esplanade is a hit with the kids.

Safety first

Keep your child safe near water. Never leave children, especially under-fives, unsupervised near any water.

Before swimming in our rivers and streams, please check Land, Air, Water Aotearoa's can I swim here? data, which measures water quality.

And remember, even if rivers and streams look calm, this can change quickly. Look for hidden objects before you leap and never enter a river or stream alone. If you're ever in doubt, stay out.

This story was originally published in the summer 2019 issue of PalmyProud. Read the latest issue.