Hurunui swimming sites take a break this summer

Two popular North Canterbury swimming spots will be unavailable this summer due to changing flows filling in the swimming holes.

The two sites are at:

  • Hurunui River at Balmoral (near the campground along SH7)
  • Waiau River (just downstream of the SH1 bridge).

In the past, our staff have arranged the removal of silt and gravel from the swimming holes and dug channels to provide an inflow of water.

With changing flows over the last couple of years, a significant amount of gravel and silt gets deposited across the riverbed, which means the integrity of the holes often only lasts for a short time before more material fills the swimming hole again.

The sites have not been maintained by us since late 2021 and Hurunui Waiau Uwha and Kaikōura zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni said the water flows into the holes remain unstable, being dry one week then filled the next.

"We know the swimming holes have been popular for locals and campers but there are still plenty of good spots in North Canterbury to cool off on a hot summer’s day."

Where’s good to swim?

Swimmers are encouraged to check before heading to a local swim spot to check if the water quality is good to swim. 

It's best to know how to spot potentially toxic algae (cyanobacteria) yourself and avoid it, to protect your whānau and your pets.