With over 125-kilometres of coastline, the Bay of Plenty has the most stunning selection of beaches. Whether you are into windsurfing, sailing,  paddle boarding or just want to have a refreshing dip in the sea - there are plenty of water-based activities on offer. 

But before heading out on the water, it’s important to know a few things so you can enjoy each activity safely. Here are our top tips to stay safe near and in the water.

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Swim between the flags

Waves, wind and tides can all affect conditions at the beach. We always recommend swimming on patrolled beaches between the flags as this area is constantly monitored and the safest place to swim at the beach. 

Most beaches are patrolled from October up to the end of March. You can find a list of patrolled beaches and the patrol hours on the Find a Beach website.

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How to recognise rips

A rip is a strong current of water running out to sea. It’s important to learn how to recognise a rip current and how to react when you get caught up in a rip.

Find more information about rips and how to recognise them here

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Stay safe in the sun

We all enjoy the summer sun but nobody enjoys sunburns. There are 4 things you should never forget when you plan a trip to the beach:

  • Broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 30

  • A shirt or clothing that offers good protection from the sun

  • Something to cover your head

  • A pair of sunglasses

Check out the SunSmart website which tells you the time each day that you need to protect your skin and eyes. 

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Jellyfish larvae and Mount Mauler

Mount Mauler is the local name for tiny midges found on the beaches near Mount Maunganui. They are  known to leave people with nasty red spots and live principally above the high-tide mark.

To avoid being bitten by the Mount Maulers, we would advise staying in wet sand and spray yourself and your towels with insect repellent. 

Swimmers can check for jellyfish sightings on Safe Swim, which also provides live information on water quality and swimming conditions on New Zealand beaches.



To check the quality of the water before you go, please see the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website here