Pools, beaches a hot spot to cool down

Date published: 22 December 2016

Soaring temperatures and summer school holidays have signalled surge in swimmers returning to the city’s favourite spots to take a dip and cool off.

The Strand Waterpark and Riverway Lagoons have already commenced extended opening hours in line with school holidays to cater for those seeking to beat the summer heat.

Lifeguard patrols have also been extended at the two facilities in addition to permanent patrols of the city’s patrolled beaches and stinger nets.

Last summer, more than 205,000 people took the opportunity to cool off for free at a council-sponsored patrolled beach or facility during the summer school holiday period, including some 77,500 at Riverway, 38,500 at the Rockpool and 37,000 at the Strand Waterpark.

Council-owned pools (Tobruk, Kokoda, Long Tan and the Northern Beaches Leisure Centre) are also expected to have a bumper school holiday summer period with in excess of 60,000 swimmers recorded over the same period last year.

Community Health and Environment Committee chair Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said swimmer numbers had increased each year.

“All indications are that this will be another long, hot summer, making for a bumper season as people try to stay cool and keep the youngsters amused,” Cr Greaney said.

“While our public pools are a great way to beat the heat, it’s a great time to remind people of the need to watch around water.

“Parents Supervise, Lifeguards Save Lives is a great mantra to remember this summer to ensure this summer is a safe and happy one.”

Summer school holiday hours (December 10 – January 23) are as follows:

* Townsville public beaches
- Strand Net 1 and Net 2, Pallarenda - will have lifeguards stationed on-site from 9.00am-6.00pm daily.
- A roving lifeguard will stay on shift on The Strand until 8.00pm

* Magnetic Island
- Alma Bay and Horseshoe Bay – will have lifeguards stationed on-site from 8.30am-4.30pm daily.
- A roving lifeguard will stay on shift on Magnetic Island from 8.30am- 4.30pm

* Balgal Beach - has a lifeguard on duty from 9.00am-5.00pm daily

* The Rockpool - lifeguard on duty from 9.00am-6.00pm daily.

* Riverway Lagoons - extended opening hours from dawn until 9pm each day. Lifeguards stationed from 8.00am-9.00pm daily.
- Extended patrol until 9.30pm on New Year’s Eve

* Strand Waterpark - extended opening hours from 10.00am to 8.00pm every day. Lifeguards stationed from 10.00am-8.00pm also.