17 January 2011
Sick of sand in your soggy sandwiches and over-friendly dogs sniffing terrified toddlers? Have a day off from the beach and head to one of New Zealand’s best swimming pools to cool down. You’ll find plenty of shade, toddler water features and great coffee shops. Here are five of the best.
Parnell Baths, Auckland
With shaded heated pools, a variety of slides, water fountains and jets, plus a tyre swing over knee-high water, there’s plenty to occupy all the family for a fun day out. And because they are salt-water pools, it feels a lot better for the family too.
Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre, Wellington
Features include a shallow water play area with two tidal pools for school-aged children plus a dedicated area for toddlers and pre-schoolers designed to enhance water confidence through play. Interactive water features include spray jets, see-saw, water shooters, an animated aquarium and a baby bungy.
St Clair Pool, Dunedin
St Clair Pool is an outdoor hot salt-water pool built on a spectacular site at the southern end of St Clair beach, the most popular city beach in Dunedin and just a 10-minute drive from the CBD. It’s the only surviving salt-water pool of several in Dunedin from the late 1800s. With beautiful beach views, it’s like being at the beach, without the sand to carry home. It also boasts a paddling pool for toddlers.
Jellie Park, Christchurch
This outdoor swimming centre includes hydroslides and a toddler pool with a water curtain, waterfall and fountain. The pool has a raised beach area and a lower pool of .7m. It also has a recreation pool, a sport pool and a 50-metre outdoor lido style pool with seven lanes. The kids will like the name too.
Lido Aquatic Centre, Palmerston North
This family leisure pool has an island, water cannons, waterfall and a toddlers beach entry with shade provided. Large trees and a grassed area surround the outdoor facilities while the indoor leisure centre has a lazy river and two water cannons. The toddlers pool also has a friendly frog that squirts water into the pool – sure to delight even the youngest swimmer.
Other great pools can be found by searching your local council website and don’t forget water nappies for the non-toilet trained members of the family, plenty of sunscreen, plus keen eyes to watch children at all times.