Best swimming spots to cool off this summer

Kids splashing in the lake. From north to south and beyond, here are some of Canberra’s best swim spots.

Cool off in Canberra this summer with some of our region's best swimming spots.

Whether you are looking to spend time with the family, catch up with friends, or hang out with the dog, Canberra makes it easy to stay cool thanks to a number of great swimming spots.

Venture out with the kids

If you are looking for that holiday feeling but aren’t too keen on packing the kids into the car only to drive hours on end, then head straight to Cotter River. Located 15 minutes from Weston Creek just off Cotter Road, the Cotter precinct is a great place to take the whole family as the river has shallow points perfect for young kids to cool off. The area is also equipped with a playground, barbecue facilities, picnic tables, and toilets.

For those seeking more of an adventure, perhaps Pine Island would suit best. The reserve has three separate barbecue areas with picnic tables and toilets, a playground, and a series of swimming holes and beaches to enjoy. Also pack your fishing gear as this is a great place to take the kids out into the water and maybe even catch some dinner!

The kids might also fancy canoeing or kayaking in which case Tharwa Sandwash located in a bend on the Murrumbidgee River would be ideal. The area has a calm, sandy and open stretch of river which is suitable for swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and water play.

Stay in town with the kids

If you prefer to stay in town with the kids, head over to Dickson or Manuka pools. Dickson pool offers free all day parking as well as barbecue areas, a splash park for the kids, and a beach volleyball area.

Cool off with the dog

Help your four-legged friend cool off this summer at Uriarra Crossing which has both on-lead and off-lead exercise areas. Bring along some sausages for lunch as barbecue facilities, picnic tables, sheltered areas, and toilets are all available.

Venture out with friends

If you and your friends are adventure seekers, then head to Flea Creek in the Brindabella National Park, equipped with a camping ground and a perfect spot for fishing and bird-watching. A remote site that has four-wheel-drive access only, do not attempt to drive in a two-wheel-drive even during the dry season.

Alternatively, head to Gibraltar Creek (30 minutes from Tuggeranong), a wood reserve that will have you rock-hopping upstream to some very beautiful swimming spots.


Not all areas are patrolled by lifeguards and may contain submerged rocks and snakes and be prone to sudden rising water levels so please take care. Make sure you stay alert and practice water safety at all times.

Never enter water if signage indicates that conditions are unsafe and stay alert of the water flow. Always supervise young children and remember to be sun safe while splashing about outdoors.

You can find more swimming safety tips by visiting