Released 17/12/2018

With holidays right around the corner, ACT Parks and Conservation and ACT Policing remind Canberrans and visitors to stay safe when swimming in local waterways or bushwalking in parks and reserves.

“It’s a great time of year to get out and explore nature, but with soaring temperatures this summer it’s best to be fully prepared when you’re taking a refreshing dip in our local rivers or out hiking in one of our reserves,” Director ACT Parks and Conservation, Daniel Iglesias, said.

“You don’t have to drive two hours down the coast to enjoy some fantastic swimming such as Uriarra Crossing, Cotter Bend, Casuarina Sands, Kambah Pool, Pine Island or the Tharwa Sandwash. But there are things we to remember to stay safe.

“The combination of holidays and warm weather can lead to issues within the ACT’s parks and reserves.”

Simple tips for swimming this summer:

  • Check the conditions: Beware of fast flowing water, submerged objects and always check the water depth before entering.
  • Signal for help: If you get into trouble, stay calm and signal for help. Try floating on your back and let the current take you to shore.
  • Swim with a buddy: Not only is it more fun swimming with a friend, but having someone else around while swimming can provide help in sticky situations.
  • Don’t drink and swim: Stay out of the water if you have alcohol in your system – it’s not worth the risk.

Simple tips for bushwalking this summer:

  • Plan your walk: make sure you’re aware of how hard the walk is. If you’re comfortable with what to expect then it won’t throw any challenging surprises. Always check the weather forecast beforehand.
  • Tell somebody: let someone know where you’re headed and when you’re expected to return. If you get lost or hurt yourself they will be able to raise the alarm.
  • Stay on track: for your own safety, stick to the signposted tracks. This is to also protect the landscape and native animals who don’t like to be disturbed.
  • Bring the essentials: a mobile phone is handy, but if you’re headed remotely consider taking a locator beacon. The most important thing to bring though is plenty of water.
  • Dress to the conditions: always wear closed toe footwear and wear appropriate clothing. A waterproof jacket is lightweight and often comes in handy.

For more information about swimming spots and bushwalking trails this summer, head to

ACT Parks and Conservation is also encouraging Canberrans to celebrate our local natural assets by taking a ‘summer snap’ of their favourite swimming and bushwalking spot. For more information on the Summer Snaps competition:

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Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases

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