About Places to Swim
The Places to Swim program supports the creation of great places for people to enjoy our rivers, lakes, dams and other inland waterways. We are working in partnership with all councils and eligible state agencies to improve access to water, allowing people to get in, on, or around water.
Places to Swim is more than just swimming, it is also about improving access for recreational engagement with waterways , such as kayaking and paddle boarding or walking and being around water.
Places to Swim is part of the Open Spaces Program, with a $16.7 million funding commitment to better connect people to water in places that need it most.
Have your say: Places to Swim best-practice guide
The Places to Swim best-practice guide provides important information on planning, designing, delivering and managing swim sites to get in, on and around water in NSW. The guide has been developed by the NSW Government in collaboration with many organisations and the Places to Swim advisory panel to encourage improved access to water for recreation across NSW.
We are seeking feedback on the draft guide until 12 March 2024. To have your say and help more communities get in, on and around water, please email your comments and feedback to the Open Space team at [email protected].
Places to Swim Perspectives Report
In 2022, the NSW Government engaged Western Sydney University to prepare a report on accessing places to swim in Western Sydney.
The Places to Swim Perspectives Report investigates the issues, barriers and benefits associated with opening waterways for recreation. The report includes Australian and international case studies that demonstrate a range of approaches to support and manage community recreation in, on, and around natural waterways.
Successful projects in 2022/23
A total of $8,007,372 has been awarded across 11 projects in the 2022/23 grant program.
|Ballina Shire Council||Teven Reserve - Increasing access to Ballina Shire’s inland waterways along Maguire’s creek in Teven - $740,565|
|Federation Council||Apex Park and Lake Mulwala Pool upgrade project - $484,950|
|Hawkesbury City Council||Macquarie Park enhancement project - $839,400|
|Lake Macquarie City Council||Toronto Baths – Accessibility and safety upgrades - $1,000,000|
|Liverpool City Council||Angle Park – Improve foreshore access - $750,000|
|National Parks and Wildlife Services (Southern Region)||Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool Precinct Upgrade - $999,008|
|Northern Beaches Council||Manly Dam Memorial Shelter - $327,200|
|Orange City Council||Lake Canobolas – Activation and improvement works - $1,000,000|
|Parkes Shire Council||Lake Endeavour – Activation and improvement works - $1,000,000|
|Temora Shire Council||Lake Centenary – Installation of pedestrian bridge - $118,449|
|Tweed Shire Council||Jack Evans Boat Harbour – Connecting to water-based recreation - $748,000|
Successful 2021/22 grant projects
Seven projects were successful in the 2021/22 grant program with a total value of $3.53 million.
|City of Parramatta||Enhancement of the Lake Parramatta swimming area – stage 1 – $905,000|
|Campbelltown City Council||Nepean River Reserve Improvements – $697,425|
|City of Ryde Council||Putney Beach Swim Site Activation – $698,475|
|Hunter’s Hill Council||Bedlam Bay Beach Swim Site – $560,475|
|Inner West Council||Mackey Pack Canoe Club Launching Ramp $300,000|
|Northern Beaches Council||Rowland Reserve Accessible Amenities – $252,230|
|Willoughby City Council||Northridge Baths Landscape and Recreation Plan – $150,000|
The following map shows the list of successful projects. You can open this map in a new window or a static version of the map can be viewed here.
More information and how to apply
Funding was made available to all NSW councils and eligible NSW Government agencies.
Eligible NSW Government agencies include those who own and manage the publicly accessible land on which the projects will be delivered. The delivered facilities must be freely and publicly accessible.
Funding was made available for projects that are freely accessible to the community and including:
- harbour, lakes, dams and riverfront precincts, including improvements for water-based recreation such as launching small non-powered watercraft (such as kayaks, canoe and paddle boards) and access to waterways for swimming
- walking tracks/trails and infrastructure that directly connect to and support access to water for recreation (not including boat ramps, fishing infrastructure and motorised boating infrastructure)
- water playspaces that offer a place to enjoy water-based recreation for those council areas that do not have direct access to lakes, rivers or the Harbour
- amenities and facilities that directly support the recreational use of the waterways (change rooms, toilet facilities, picnic and BBQ facilities, foreshore works, netting, pontoons, signage).
We are very lucky in NSW to have access to some of the most beautiful coastlines and ocean pools in the world. The focus of Places to Swim is about better connecting people to natural bodies of water that are free to access, who may not have easy access to our great beaches and ocean pools.