Where to take a dip (safely) this long weekend
WITH the weather heating up and the recent Department of Primary Industries shark map making it all too clear we share our oceans with great whites, some are looking for safer places to cool off this summer.
Keeping in mind, some of our picturesque water holes have also seen their fair share of tragedy.
Ahead of the long weekend, we've put together a list of safe places to swim in the Northern Rivers
Ballina Water Slide: Open from 6am to 6pm weekdays and 8am to 6pm on weekends, the Ballina Memorial Olympic Pool and Waterslide is sure to be a popular option these holidays. There are plans to make the pool heated, but at the moment, the water temperature is about 22 degrees - about the same as the ocean.
Lake Ainsworth: The tea tree stained lake is very popular spot with locals and tourists. With plenty of shade, barbeque areas and grassy places to sit, the lake is also a great spot for lunch as well as water activities.
Shaws Bay: A calm and shady body of saltwater that was formed when the northern training wall of the Richmond River was built near the mouth at Ballina. The lagoon is a popular spot for kayaking, snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding and swimming.
Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre: The centre is great for the little ones, with a water slide, toddler's pool and inflatables. It also has a barbeque, café and saunas for parents to enjoy.
Lismore Memorial Baths: The Olympic size 50m outdoor pool is great to cool down and relax with some laps, or play with the kids in the shallower 25m pool and beach-entry toddlers pool. Starting in November, the pool also hosts Splash Sunday with giant inflatables.
Nimbin Swimming Pool: The Nimbin Swimming Pool is a free pool with shady areas, a barbeque and picnic tables for locals and visitors to enjoy. Run by the Lismore City Council the pool operates from dawn until dusk.
Casino Memorial Pool: With its 50 metre lap pool, 14 metre toddler's pool, grandstand, volleyball court, BBQ's and covered picnic seating, plus an expanse of lush grass areas, Casino Pool is a great option for those hot summer days.