Swimming in Timaru District

Caroline Bay: A NZ Top 10 Family Beach

Caroline Bay, a much-loved swimming spot, is one of the jewels in Timaru’s crown.

Recently voted most popular beach in the South Island, Caroline Bay is a sheltered sandy beach ideal for anyone who loves a dip (resident penguins included).

Over the warmer months you can swim out to the community pontoon, launched in April 2019.  The pontoon, complete with slide, is already proving popular for swimmers.

With beach boardwalks, public artworks, free barbeques and playgrounds, this sandy beach is a great place to relax and hang out.

Walk the coastline, have a picnic, or spend the day.

If you’re here in December, be sure not to miss the annual summer carnival – it’s a major highlight on South Canterbury’s calendar.

Outdoor swimming pools

When the summer temperatures rise in Timaru, you’ll find the region’s outdoor swimming pools buzzing.

Our community pools in Timaru, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Geraldine are all open from November to March – as is our 50-metre outdoor pool within the Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre.


For year-round swimming and hydroslide fun, visit Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre on Te Weka Street.

Within the complex, there’s a 25-metre lane pool, a leisure and toddlers’ pool, two hydroslides, a café – and the all-important luxury spa, sauna and steam room.

Rivers and Lakes

Take a picnic and head to one of our many rivers for a day of swimming and exploring.

Popular swimming spots include the Opihi, Temuka, Rangitata, Orari and Pareora Rivers. Inland from Geraldine, you will also find Lake Opuha which is great for swimming, boating, waterskiing and fishing.

At certain times of the year, there can be toxic algae present in some waterways, therefore, we advise checking the Lawa website for safe swimming spots