Summer often means seeking out the cool solace of water, be that a beach, river, creek, dam or swimming hole, and when beating the heat is the name of the game, the benefits for developing children are many and varied.

Canberra has plenty of beautiful swimming spots scattered along the Murrumbidgee River Corridor with the majority comprising large sandy beaches which are great for children and adults alike. Check out Water Quality in Our Lakes, Ponds and Rivers to seek current advice on any changes prior to your next family swimming outing.

If you are heading out to swim around Canberra, keep in mind you should:

  • Never dive into water if you are unsure of the depth.
  • Keep an eye out for submerged logs, other hazards and wildlife.
  • Watch the flow – flowing water is stronger than you think.
  • Not enter the water if signage indicates the conditions are unsafe.
  • Never let children out of your sight and avoid swimming alone.

If you have kids too young to enjoy splashing about in the water and tend to stick to the sand, below are a few suggestions to keep them entertained:

  • Build sand castles and a moat - use buckets, shovels, cups or your hands.
  • Dig for buried treasure or bury your feet in the sand.
  • You're familiar with mud pies. Try sand pies!
  • Draw or write in the sand.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt - collect rocks, shells, sticks, and seaweed.
  • Explore - take a walk, climb on rocks, jump off sand dunes.


If you have a free weekend up your sleeve, why not take the two and a half hour scenic drive to the stunning coastlines of the South Coast. There are over 30 national parks, marine and nature reserves to explore as well as diverse native wildlife to discover. There's kayaking, swimming, hiking, surfing, fishing and not to mention the fantastic campgrounds within walking distance to the beach! For more information go to visitnsw.com


Bodies of water offer endless opportunities for physical experiments and discoveries. Though it might look like your child is just splashing around, water play can help improve children’s balance and strength. Water also supports a variety of life forms like fish and frogs, so water play can also lead to new biological adventures as well. For more water based play ideas check out the activities below.



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