Swimming at the beach
Our beaches are generally very safe for swimming. You can find out more about each beach at Kāpiti beaches.
Swimming and bodysurfing are the only activities permitted between the flags.
Check the Facebook pages for Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards, and Ōtaki Surf Lifesaving Club for information about their patrols.
Recreational water quality
We regularly monitor our beaches in partnership with Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Kāpiti's water cleanliness is generally safe for swimming and other water-based recreational activities, but we recommend regularly checking if it's safe to swim on the interactive map on LAWA's website.
It's always a good idea to wait 48 hours after heavy rain before you swim again. More information can be found at Recreational water quality.
Swim well clear of boat launching zones
It's hard for boaties to see heads bobbing in the waves as they're launching and landing their boats, so make sure your swimming spot is well clear of our designated boat launching zones.
Greater Wellington's Wellington Regional Navigation Safety Bylaws 2021 require swimmers to be at least 50 metres away from any boat ramp or designated boat launching area (see 2.2 of the bylaws). You can see where the boat launching zones are on our Access ways and driving zones on the beach foreshore map.
We'd hate for anyone to get hurt, so take care, and stay aware of vehicles and boats using the launching areas and boat ramps!
When swimming at our beaches, remember:
- check www.lawa.org.nz for the latest water quality alerts
- don't swim at stream- and river-mouths during hot summer months
- keep out of any water that's murky or smells unpleasant
- avoid swimming near stormwater outlets on our beaches, or other possible sources of contamination
- check for hazards such as strong currents, tidal rips, or steep drop offs
- know your limits, and never swim alone
- always keep small children within arm’s length.