Search all sites near me now
Search your favourite swimming spots

Wellington Region

The Wellington Region has a total area of 8,150 square kilometres, stretching the whole of the lower part of the North Island from Ōtaki in the west across to Owahanga in the east. 

The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) manages 12,300 kilometres of rivers and streams, 500 kilometres of coastline and 14 lakes throughout the region. Many of these waterbodies provide areas of significant recreational, ecological and economical value.

GWRC uses a daily swimming risk model, introduced in 2018, to predict more timely information about the suitability for swimming at popular swimming sites. The model combines information about recent and forecast weather, and the microbiological history of each site. Suitability for swimming at each site is updated hourly (from 6am until 7pm NZST), year round.

The things people do on land can have a big impact on the ecological health of the Region’s estuaries and other coastal habitats. Littering, driving on coastal areas and dunes, or not picking up after dogs can negatively impact these sensitive areas. Major issues such as sewage spills; contamination from storm water and landfills; and sediment from development, farming or forestry activities can wash into estuaries during heavy rain, harming coastal ecosystems.

The cumulative effects felt from multiple stressors is leading to a decline in estuary health over time.

Monitoring focuses on sediment health as a primary indicator of condition. We measure sediment properties and levels of nutrients and heavy metals. We also identify and count the invertebrate animals living in the sediments as an indicator of environmental health.