Three places to swim in Canberra (that aren't pools!) this weekend | HerCanberra

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Three places to swim in Canberra (that aren’t pools!) this weekend

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You’re hot and you want to cool off – but you’re not keen on the public pool scene. Here are three places to swim this weekend.

Parts of the Murrumbidgee, Cotter, Molonglo, and Paddy’s rivers are closed to swimming until further notice due to recent heavy rainfall resulting in water quality below levels that are suitable for swimming – that means some popular swimming spots are off limits for the next week or so.

But we’ve rounded up three places where you can dip your toes and cool off during this hot weekend.

Conditions and advice can change quickly – be sure to check Parks ACT’s alerts before you head out.

Be sure to swim to the conditions—just because it’s not a beach, doesn’t mean the water is safe at all times. There’s also a lot of water about at the moment, and swimming in rivers has a higher level of risk than pools. Check out these safety tips.

Canberra Aqua Park

This fun swimming experience has returned to Black Mountain Peninsula.

A 1,600 square metre inflatable obstacle course, Canberra Aqua Park will operate throughout the warmer months.

Black Mountain Peninsula | Access via Lady Denman Drive | Google Map

Yarralumla Bay

Primarily designed for water-based recreation with a boat-launching area and sections set aside for swimming, Yarralumla Bay offers pleasant shaded picnic areas connected to popular commuter and recreational cycleway/walkway with information and directional signage around the lake.

The western part of the area has sailing and rowing clubhouses, launching ramps, piers and a wharf.

Between Orana Bay and Blue Gum Point | Access via Alexandria Drive | Google Map

Weston Park

The park’s name recognises the pioneering contribution that Thomas Charles Weston made to the city’s unique landscape and parks system.

The large playground includes a climbing net and swings with a wading pool that is operational in summer only and a miniature train.

Perfect for large groups, Weston Park has a beach (maybe we do have one after all) and a swimming area located on the eastern shore while ample provision has been made for picnicking and parking.

Access via Weston Park Road, Yarralumla | Google Map

Water Quality + Safety

Before heading out to any of these swimming spots, be sure to check they’re open and safe to enter. Keep up to date at

If you’re out enjoying a refreshing dip, be sure to take note of the following to make sure you and your family remain safe:

  • Do not enter the water if signage indicates the conditions are unsafe
  • Watch the flow—flowing water is stronger than you think
  • Never drink and swim
  • Never let children out of your sight and avoid swimming alone
  • Never dive into water if you are unsure of the depth
  • Keep an eye out for submerged logs, other hazards and wildlife

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One Response to Three places to swim in Canberra (that aren’t pools!) this weekend

Yasmin Element says: 20 November, 2016 at 10:49 pm

I go swimming in rivers around Canberra 2-3 times a week throughout spring, summer and autumn.

Cotter camping ground is also a good spot… lovely and shady so on the hottest summer days you can find some delightful icy cool patches of water…

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