Learn to swim and survive and set rules for safe play in the water. Always use safe and correct equipment. Know the weather and water conditions before you get in.
Watch out for yourself and others
Always pay close attention to children you are supervising in or near water. Swim with others and in areas where lifeguards are present.
Be aware of the dangers
Enter shallow and unknown water feet first and obey all safety signs and warning flags. Do not enter the water after drinking alcohol.
Know your limits
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.
Find more information about water safety at AdventureSmart NZ
Boating safety – including kayaking, canoeing and SUPing
Take them – wear them. Boats, especially ones under 6 m in length, can sink very quickly. Wearing a life jacket increases your survival time in the water.
Take two separate waterproof ways of communicating so we can help you if you get into difficulties.
VHF radio and distress beacons are the best. Learn more about beacons
New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the local marine weather forecast before you go and expect both weather and sea state changes.
Safe boating and alcohol do not mix. Things can change quickly on the water. You need to stay alert and aware.
The skipper is responsible for the safety of everyone on board and for the safe operation of the boat. Stay within the limits of your vessel and your experience.
Find more information about boating safety at AdventureSmart NZ
If you plan to cross an unbridged river, you must know how to identify an unsafe river, and where and how to cross safely. You should also be prepared for being unable to cross.
If the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe, do not try to cross. Turn back or wait for the river to drop - this often takes a few hours after rain, so be ready and pack emergency shelter and extra food.
A river is unsafe if there is:
- discoloured water
- debris in the water (such as branches)
- water flowing faster than walking pace
- rocks moving in the water you can hear
Learn more about river safety on the NZ Mountain Safety Council website.