Find one of Selwyn's hidden gems by the water

Friday, 22 December 2023

Find one of Selwyn's hidden gems by the water

Summer swimming offers a perfect escape from the heat and a refreshing way to enjoy New Zealand’s favourite season. It’s a chance to cool off and have fun with the family. 

Here in Selwyn, we boast a variety of swimming locations that will suit everyone. Be sure to check out some of these local spots, but remember, if you are thinking of getting into the water over summer, make sure you visit the LAWA – Can I swim here? website for the most up-to-date information before making your visit.  


Lake Pearson

State Highway 73

Lake Pearson is a glacial lake, and is one of our more picturesque lakes, surrounded by the Southern Alps, it provides a beautiful backdrop for swimmers and other visitors.  

Known for its calm and serene atmosphere, it is an ideal location to get away and relax in a natural setting, and it even offers up an opportunity for some birdwatching. Home to a variety of bird species, it is a unique opportunity to combine a love for the water and a love for birdwatching in the same day.  

Relatively easy to access, it is a popular stop for those traveling along the Arthur’s Pass and can provide you the opportunity to break up a journey with a quick swim if you’re feeling trapped in the car.  


Lake Lyndon

Lyndon Road 

Lake Lyndon is located near Porters Pass on State Highway 73 after Springfield, heading into the Southern Alps. One of our colder lakes, it is wise to make sure you are prepared for the lower temperatures.  

Perfect for jetboating, there is ample opportunity to explore other activities other than just swimming on this lake. This also includes activities for avid bird watchers as Lake Lyndon boasts a wide variety of birds to be spotted.  


Rakaia Gorge

609 Rakaia Gorge Road, Windwhistle, 7572 

Swimming in the Rakaia Gorge has several appeals that is sure to make everyone happy. Renowned for its natural beauty, with rugged landscapes and towering cliffs that can make any photo look like it was taken by a professional, it is a perfect spot to bring friends and family for that summer swim.  

What makes Rakaia Gorge so special is that it tends not to get too crowded, even during those busy tourist seasons. Rakaia Gorge is a great choice for those looking for a more remote and unspoiled natural environments. 

Apart from swimming, the Rakaia Gorge offers opportunities for other outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing and picnicking. Having the unique natural features in the area creates a perfect opportunity for exploring with family.  

Two boys near the lake, holding big tyres to play with

  Fishing Swimming Paddle boarding Kayaking Jet skis/Motor boats
Lake Pearson Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Lake Lyndon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rakaia Gorge Yes Yes Not recommended Yes Yes

Community Pools  

Community swimming pools are a fantastic resource for our locals. With aquatic programmes and additional fitness facilities, it’s hard to resist the pools during summer. If you prefer the atmosphere of a community pool, we have pulled together our favourite for you to visit this summer.  

Opening hours vary during term time and holiday seasons, so please do check out their details before visiting.  


Darfield Swimming Pool 

Ross Street 

Keep kids of all ages entertained at the refurbished Darfield Swimming Pool with its new outdoor three-metre hydro slide, water play area, water bomb platform and toddler splash pool. Its a fully lifeguarded, heated pool that is open 7 days a week making it a great swimming option this summer.

Plus there's swimming lessons available and the opportunity to join in on some aqua aerobics.

Sheffield Memorial Pool

SH73 West Coast Road, Sheffield 

With two outdoor pools including a lane pool with a depth of up to 1.2m and a paddling pool, this is a fantastic visit to add to your list of to-dos this summer.  

With facilities on site including a diving board, it might be exactly what the kids need to get rid of some of their energy this upcoming holiday season.  


Southbridge Pool

High Street, Southbridge 

Who can resist a heated outdoor pool? We know we certainly can’t!  

Southbridge pool offers just that and is fully lifeguarded too. With a lane pool of depths to 1.8m and a paddling pool, you can feel safe knowing you’re being looked after.  

Adding to this a hydroslide (minimum age 8 years +), we know you will have a lot of fun during your visit here.  


Leeston Learners Pool

Chervier Street, Leeston 

For those with young children, this is the outdoor pool for you. Suitable for families with primary and pre-school children only, Leeston Learner’s Pool is open daily (but not lifeguarded), during the swimming season, from 10am to 7pm (weather permitting).  

Family swim access keys for the season can be purchased from the Leeston Library and Service Centre. 


Selwyn Aquatic Centre

71 Broadlands Drive, Rolleston 

For the cooler days or to escape the summer heat, Selwyn Aquatic Centre has five indoor pools for you to choose from.

From the 25m pool with ten lanes, 20m programme pool, to the leisure pool which includes a lazy river and toddlers area, there really is something for everyone, including a hydrotherapy pool with ramp access.

During the weekends have a go on the inflatables and paddleboards, or keep an eye out for pool parties and other fun events.

If you’re interested in aqua fitness, be sure to check out their timetable.


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