Stay safe in the water this Summer

We want you to have fun and enjoy being in the water this summer. But please do it safely and be aware of the dangers of swimming in unpatrolled areas.

When the weather gets hot over summer, people naturally head to the water to cool down. Our beaches, lakes and rivers across the state are inundated with people wanting to swim, play, paddle and have fun in the water. However, it's important to be aware of the risks of swimming in nature whether it's at the beach, in a lake, river or near a waterfall.

In 2019, 40 people drowned and each year there are 350-400 new cases of spinal cord injuries reported. Nine per cent of these are caused by water-related accidents. 

Parks Victoria manages 70% of Victoria’s coastline and 211 piers and jetties around the state. We are a safety-first organisation, focused on protecting our visitors while providing world-class nature-based experiences. We take all the necessary steps to install signage and physical barriers at some sites to protect visitors, but we are disappointed to find that they are often overlooked or ignored. 

Jumping from piers and jetties might seem like a harmless activity on hot days, however it is a dangerous activity that can lead to serious injury. Water depths, sand bars and submerged debris and rubbish around piers can change on a daily basis which makes water conditions unpredictable.

Top tips to stay safe in the water:

  • Do not jump off piers and jetties
  • Observe all safety signage and barriers
  • Play it safe by the water
  • Only swim where permitted
  • Do not swim by yourself

Safety is everyone's responsibility. If you are keen to swim at the beach this summer, make sure you follow all the safety signs and take extra care when swimming. Don't take the risk and don't jump from piers and jetties this summer. 

For those that want to be safe and jump into water this summer, do it at your local swimming pool where the conditions are set - you can see the bottom, there are no tidal movements or unexpected hazards and there is someone on duty to lookout for your safety and well-being.

For more details on water safety for you and your family, look at Play It Safe by the Water, a public education and awareness program that aims to increase safety around water and reduce the number of drowning incidents in Victoria. The program also alerts Victorians to the risk associated with swimming in coastal and inland waterways.

Top places to cool down this Summer

Two friends go for a swim in Lake Elusive in Croajingolong National Park.

Freshwater swimming

Take a cool, invigorating dip in fresh waterholes, streams and lakes. Be sure to observe safety signs and take caution when swimming in nature.
An older couple stop to enjoy a pastry above Sorrento Back Beach on the Mornington Peninsula.

Sorrento Back Beach

Sorrento Back Beach is located around 1.5km south of the town of Sorrento. The beach is a popular location for activities such as surfing, swimming, walking and exploring the rockpools at low tide.
People play on the beach and explore the rock pools among the sandstone formations at Rye Back Ocean Beach.

Rye Ocean Beach

Rye Ocean Beach is a popular surfing beach due to numerous reef breaks along the long stretch of exposed sandy coast.
The path down to Portsea Ocean Beach from the lower carpark.

Portsea Ocean Beach

This popular beach is a great location to explore the national park’s wide sandy beaches and naturally weathered cliffs.Popular activities include surfing, swimming, walking and ocean fishing. The beach is patrolled during summer and school holidays. Refer to regulations and only swim between the flags.
A man in a red wetsuit and a women with the top half of her wetsuit undone follow two men in to the surf on the Morning Peninsula.

Gunnamatta Ocean Beach

Gunnamatta Ocean Beach is the most popular surf beach in Mornington Peninsula National Park, with consistently high swells and rocky reefs.
A young couple walk along the board walk at Cape Schank.

Mornington Peninsula National Park

This narrow strip of coast and bushland offers a wonderful blend of natural scenery and fascinating historic features and is popular for swimming, walking, picnics and nature study, as well as surfing at ocean beaches like Portsea, Sorrento and Gunnamatta.
The Pound Bend Tunnel on the Yarra River near the Warrandyte State Park.

Pound Bend

Pound Bend has a delightful picnic area with tables, toilets, a canoe launching ramp and great views of the river. There are easy walks and tracks around this area.
Waves crashing in the shallows

Cape Liptrap Coastal Park

Stretching along the coast from the sand barrier of Point Smythe to the sheltered waters of Waratah Bay, Cape Liptrap Coastal Park has strikingly beautiful scenery.
Three women stand-up paddle boarders paddle up the Yeerung River.

Cape Conran Coastal Park

Cape Conran Coastal Park has heathlands, wild ocean beaches and banksia woodlands brimming with nectar-feeding birds
A family walk together along the water's edge at Shipwreck Creek beach.

Croajingolong National Park

Croajingolong follows the far-eastern coastline of Victoria for 100 km and features eucalypt forest, rainforest and heathland.
A young couple paddle kayaks on a sunny afternoon across Lake Eildon.

Lake Eildon National Park

Lake Eildon National Park is in the northern foothills of Victoria's Central Highlands, 150 km north-east of Melbourne. Situated on the shores of Lake Eildon, the park protects 27,750 ha of rugged hills with open woodlands through to dense forest.
Two campers relax at their campsite after a long paddle.

Lower Glenelg National Park

The Glenelg River is the central feature of the Lower Glenelg National Park. Along the last part of its winding 400 kilometre path to the sea the river has carved a spectacular gorge up to 50 metres deep through limestone. River erosion and the action of rainwater have created a remarkable cave.

Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary

Crystal clear shallow waters, sandstone reefs, sea caves, and rockpools make Ricketts Point the perfect place to discover the wonderful sea creatures of Port Phillip Bay.
A pelican on the water at the Lakes National Park in Gippsland.

The Lakes National Park

The Lakes National Park is a peaceful bushland retreat in the Gippsland Lakes, fringed by the waters of Lake Victoria and Lake Reeve.
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