We are privileged in New Zealand to have a lot of beautiful and pristine rivers to swim in. A lot of the little creeks that drain from the Southern Alps in the South Island create lots of little spots for swimming as they slowly meander across the Canterbury Plains. Sharplin Falls is a little track nestled into Mt Somers and a few swimming spots, and still areas of the river are present as you head upstream. These little swimming holes, particularly the one we visited, would be perfect for a hot summers day. While the water looks perfect and cool, the water that feeds this creek drains from the mountains, which all get snow in the winter, so the water is a toe-numbing cold even on a scorching summers day.


While Sharplin Falls are closed at the moment due to the Kaikoura earthquake that occurred here a couple of months ago the swimming holes are still accessible. They are very well covered by trees which cast shadows over the already icey water and add a bit more of a chill for those that dare to swim in the shadows. Along one face of the river there are some large boulders that jut out and create a sort of cave. While good to explore, and maybe sit under for a time, the shadowed part of the waters would get cold quickly.

Regardless, New Zealanders flock to well known swimming river spots just like these, and everyone dreams of finding a new river swimming hole for the summer that few people know about. This one I can safely say, as well as the others, is not incredibly well known. Mostly this comes down to how out of the way the track is and how cold the water stays all year round.

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