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Swimming Water Quality

The map below provides a summary of monitoring results from more than 80 popular coastal, river and lake recreation sites around the Bay of Plenty.  Sites are monitored for faecal contamination (bacterial monitoring) from October to March each year and for toxin-forming algae species (algal bloom monitoring) from October to June each year. Click on the area of interest for more detailed information.

You should avoid swimming in rivers for 48 hours (two days) after heavy or prolonged rain. This is because the water can be contaminated by farm and urban run-off.

If you suspect an algal bloom is present, don't swim or take part in an activity that may result in accidental consumption or exposure to water affected by algal blooms. 

Lake Rotoehu at Otautu ArmLake Rotoehu at Te Pohue BayLake Rotoehu at Kennedy BayWaioeka River at Pile RdOtara River at Gault RdOtara River at Otara Eastbank RdTauranga River at Lowe RdRangitaiki River Upstream at Rabbit BridgeRangitaiki River Upstream at Galloways DrRangitaiki River Upstream at Murupara Riverside ReserveUretara Stream at WharawharaWairoa River at SH 29Ngamuwahine River at ReserveTe Rereatukahia Stream at Sapphire SpringsHamurana at Hamurana RdPapamoa Beach at Harrison's CutTauranga Harbour at Bowentown Boat RampRangitaiki River at Te Teko BridgePongakawa River at SH2 Tarawera Beach at Tarawera River MouthKereu River at SH35Whanarua BayTe Kaha Beach Maraetai BayHikuwai Beach End of Snell RoadWaiotahi Beach Surf ClubWaiotahi EstuaryOhiwa Harbour at Reserve Boat RampOhope Beach Anne St Ohope Beach Surf Club Whakatane Heads Piripai at Ohuirehe RdPukehina Beach Waihi Estuary Main ChannelMaketu Surf ClubWaimapu BridgeTilby Point at Fergusson ParkOutmoetai Beach Road Omokoroa DomainPahoia BeachPilot Bay Mid Beach Mt Maunganui at Surf Club Waihi Beach Surf ClubAnzac Bay Tanners Point Beach Ongare PointTauranga Harbour at Maungatapu BrgLake Rotoma at WhangaroaLake Rotoiti at Hinehopu, JettyLake Rotoiti at Gisborne PointLake Rotoiti at Okawa BayLake Okareka at Steep St ParkLake Tikitapu at BeachLake Rotorua at Holdens BayLake Rotorua at NgongotahaLake Tarawera at Rangiuru BayLake Okaro Lake Rerewhakaaitu at Homestead ArmOtara River  at d/s  SH35 BridgeWaioweka River at SH2 Tauranga River at Wardlaw GladeWhakatane River at Landing Road Rangitaiki River at Thornton Boat RampTarawera River at Kawerau BridgePuarenga at WhakarewarewaNgongotaha Stream at Railway BridgeWaiteti Stream at NgongotahaUtuhina Stream at Lake RoadOhau Channel at SH 33 BridgeWaitangi Soda Springs Wairoa River at SH2Uretara Stream at Henry RdWairoa River below McLaren FallsTuapiro Stream at McMillan RoadKaiate Falls at WaitaoKopurererua Stream at McCords Ave BridgeWaitui Reserve at Te Puna3 Mile at Waihi BeachOmanu Beach at Mount
Bathing Beach Map Tauranga Rotorua Whakatane East Cape Rangitaiki

The Three Tier System for Swimming Water Quality

Green DotGreen

Highly likely to be uncontaminated. 'Suitable' for bathing, but requiring water managers to continue surveillance or routine monitoring.

Amber DotAmber

Potentially contaminated. 'Potentially unsuitable', requiring water managers to undertake further investigation to assess suitability for recreation.

Red DotRed

Highly likely to be contaminated. 'Highly likely to be unsuitable', requiring urgent action from water managers, such as public warnings.

Further information

  • For further information on microbiological water quality monitoring, visit our monitoring information page.
  • For further information on toxin-forming algae species visit our algae page.
  • For more information on the health impacts and symptoms from accidentally coming into contact with contaminated water, please go to the Toi Te Ora - Public Health website.
  • Visit the Rotorua Lakes Lake Health Warnings page for information on algal blooms in our lakes and our Rivers Health Warnings page for information on algal blooms in our rivers, or contact us on 0800 884 880.
  • For seasonal indicator bacteria data go to Lawa website