The Best Swimming Holes Near Wellington
From kid-friendly wading pools to deeper swimming holes, here's where to have a refreshing weekend dip.
Just because you're back at work, it doesn't mean summer is over. With Wellington's weather finally reaching 'summer' levels of heat, it's the perfect time to head out of the city for a refreshing weekend dip. Lucky for you, Wellington has plenty of swimming holes nearby. From kid-friendly wading to deeper swimming holes, here's a few to get you started.
One of the main entrances to Tararua Forest Park, this site is surrounded by open river terraces and regenerating bush. Sitting 19 kilometres inland from Otaki township and approximately an hour and a half drive from Wellington and Palmerston North, visitors can picnic at Boielle Flat, discover several swimming holes in the Waiotauru River, raft or kayak the Otaki River gorge, or enjoy short walks through Tararua Forest Park. The nearby campsite makes this the perfect weekend overnighter.
There are several good swimming holes along Te Awa Kairangi Hutt River that take an adventurous nature to find. We'll give you a headstart with this one in Maroibank. The Hutt River at Maoribank Corner is publicly accessible from Awakairangi Park in Totara Park. The Hutt River is a super popular swimming spot due to the deep pools located along it — just take care, as the water is cold and can be swift. Follow Riverlink on Facebook for near-daily updates on the water conditions.
This site is located in Kaitoke Regional Park, in the upper reaches of the Hutt catchment. A popular picnic spot, it's publicly accessible from the Eastern Hutt Road or the Hutt River Trail . The Pakuratahi River offers shallower paddling and swimming spots suitable for younger children, making it a great spot for a family day out. There are changing facilities at the Pakuratahi Forks carpark, under the bridge to Rivendell.
The Wainuiomata River at Richard Prouse Park is located in the upper catchment to the west of Wainuiomata. The site can be publicly accessed from Richard Prouse Park from Hine Road. It is a popular spot for swimmers due to the deep pools found there. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic basket and rug.
Found just north of Fraser Park off Taita Drive, this swimming hole is known well amongst locals. For generations, children have been visiting the swimming hole in the Hutt River known as Taita Rock. Each year, ropes are attached to the side of the prominent rock on the riverbank and it becomes a popular swimming hole.
Due to low rainfall levels, toxic algae can be present in rivers during summer. Check out the Can I Swim Here page on the 'Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa' website for weekly river warnings.
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