Learn to Swim

Regardless of your age or ability, you can learn the life skill of swimming and water safety with our quality programmes.

  • Queenstown Learn to Swim pool

    T: 03 450 9115

    aqualandswimschool@qldc.govt.nz 

    QLDC Swim School – Queenstown is located at Alpine Aqualand, Queenstown Events Centre.

    As an Aqualand Swim School member, you can enjoy practicing or splashing about at Alpine Aqualand for two hours after your lesson.

    Enjoy our purpose built learners’ pools (maintained at a comfortably warm temperature), a separate shallow area for toddlers, an adult hot pool and a 25m lap pool.

    Alpine Aqualand also has two hydroslides and a ‘lazy river’ feature.

    View the below information for class levels, class types and prices or proceed to our online booking system.


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  • Wanaka Learn to Swim Pool_WEB

    T: 03 443 9334 

    wanakaswims@qldc.govt.nz

    QLDC Swim School – Wanaka is located at the three-pool complex at Wanaka Recreation Centre.

    As a Wanaka Swim School member, you can enjoy practicing or splashing about for two hours after your lesson.

    We have an eight-lane 25m lap pool, 20m learners' pool with separate toddlers' area, and adult hot pool.

    View the below information for class levels, class types and prices or proceed to our online booking system.

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  • Group Lessons

    Starting at 6 months of age, our swim classes develop your child’s swimming ability all the way through to senior high school. See below for class levels and the skills developed at each level.  If your child can complete the skills, then they are ready to move to the next level.

    Private Lessons

    For complete one-on-one attention, we offer private lessons with a highly qualified swim instructor. Private lessons provide a very secure environment for those who have never learned to swim.

    Abilities Lessons

    We also offer one-on-one classes for those with special needs, such as ADHD, Dyspraxia, Autism and Cerebral Palsy. Funding may be available through the Halberg Trust. See halberg.co.nz. 

    Adult Lessons

    There is no time like the present to develop your swimming ability. Whether you are learning to swim for the first time or you would like to touch up your skills, our adult classes provide swimming tuition and technique correction to help you progress. The programme consists of two five-week blocks per term, or private lessons.

    All lessons are subject to availability. To learn more, please complete our enquiry form located below.

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  • First Steps 

    The more relaxed and confident you are in the water, the more secure and relaxed your baby will feel. Be sure to keep your movements slow and controlled, especially when entering the water. Encourage your child, smile at them and try to remain relaxed, giving them plenty of time to adjust to this new environment. This will help your child feel comfortable in the water and result in a fun, rewarding experience. 

    After Your Lesson 

    Keep your child warm by bringing a dry change of clothes for them to wear home. We recommend you give them lots of encouragement and praise for their efforts. With toddlers and pre-schoolers, try asking them what they liked most about their lesson. These actions will help reinforce swimming as being a positive experience, and in return help your child progress as rapidly as possible. 

    Extra Steps 

    We also encourage you and your child to spend time in the water outside of lessons (e.g. during bath time, using cue words from your lesson). Whether you are playing games or practicing, it will all help them gain water confidence. 

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  • Lessons are available every day during the school term, catering for children as young as 6 months through to adults. Whether you are new to swimming or wanting to improve your technique, we have a level for you.

    If you have any doubt which lesson level you or your child should be in, please view our class descriptions below which details the required skills at each level. If you are still unsure what would be best for your child, we can provide you with a free swim assessment.

    All children receive certificates of achievement as they progress through the levels. Classes are based on a 10 week term.

     

    1. Parent and Child Classes  
    It’s never too early to learn and babies love water! Introducing them to water at an early age will help them gain a lifelong skill. Classes are conducted with a parent or guardian in the water, so take this opportunity to bond with your child and improve their water confidence.

      Class Skills developed

    Rubber Duckies
    (6-12 months)
    8 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a rubber duckie, I am working on:
    > Introduction to water
    > Basic water safety at home and in the pool

    Frogs
    (12-24 months)
    8 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Frog, I am working on:
    > Submersion
    >Increased independent movement
    > Flotation and rotation skills


    Sprats
    (24-36 months)
    8 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a sprat, I am working on:
    > Develop independent movement in the water
    > Increase water confidence
    > Encourage basic swimming


    2. Pre-school Classes: 3-4 years

    Introduce your pre-schooler to the wonderful world of swimming. Our fun programme and awesome instructors will allow your pre-schooler to discover the water independently, gain confidence and learn how to enjoy the water safely.

      Class Skills developed

    Happy Hippos
    4 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Happy Hippo, I am working on:
    > Repeated happy submersion with bubbles
    > Unassisted flotation on front regain to standing position
    > Unassisted floatation on back regain to standing position
    > Assisted rotation front to back
    > Safe Entry and Exit
    > Push and glide on front with aid
    > Push and glide on back with aid

     


    Busy Beavers
    4 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Busy Beaver, I am working on:
    > Unassisted front push off and streamline for 5 seconds
    > Unassisted back glide off wall for 5 seconds
    > Unassisted glide rotation in both directions -3m
    > Unassisted front streamline with kick– 5m
    > Unassisted back streamline position (arms by side) with kick -5m
    > Introduction of Freestyle arms with kicking -5m

    Crazy Crocs
    4 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Crazy Croc, I am working on:
    > Kicking (Front) with side breathing -13m
    > Back kicking (arms by side) – 13m
    > Freestyle – 8m
    > Backstroke- 8m
    > Breaststroke kick – 5 kicks (feet turned out) Repeated streamline rotate front and back with kicking – 8m
    > Breaststroke arm with noodle- 5m
    > Butterfly (Dolphin) kick

    Super Squid
    4 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Super Squid, I am working on:
    > Freestyle bilateral breathing 13m
    > Backstroke 13m
    > Breaststroke (pop-up breathing) 10m
    > Butterfly (dolphin) kick 10m
    > Tread water 10 secs



    3. School age classes: 5-16 years
    Our school age levels cater to all ages and abilities. Work your way through all the strokes: breaststroke, freestyle, and butterfly. Swimmers will have a progressive set of goals to achieve and will receive a certificate at the completion of each level. 

    Learners pool:

      Class Skills developed


    Starfish
    5 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Starfish, I am working on: 
    > Repeated happy submersion with bubbles
    > Unassisted flotation on front regain to standing position.
    > Unassisted floatation on back regain to standing position.
    > Assisted rotation front to back
    > Safe Entry and Exit
    > Push and glide on front with aid
    > Push and glide on back with aid

    Turtles
    5 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Turtle, I am working on:
    > Unassisted front push off and streamline for 5 seconds
    > Unassisted back glide off wall for 5 seconds
    > Unassisted glide rotation in both directions -3m
    > Unassisted front streamline with kick– 5m
    > Unassisted back streamline position (arms by side) with kick -5m
    > Introduction of Freestyle arms with kicking -5m

    Penguins
    6 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Penguin, I am working on:
    > Kicking (Front) with side breathing -13m
    > Back kicking (arms by side) – 13m
    > Freestyle – 8m
    > Backstroke- 8m
    > Breaststroke kick – 5 kicks (feet turned out) Repeated streamline rotate front and back with kicking – 8m
    > Breaststroke arm with noodle- 5m
    > Butterfly (Dolphin) kick

    Water rats
    6 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Water Rat, I am working on:
    > Freestyle with bilateral (breathing 1-2-3 to the side) – 13m (in the lap pool)
    > Backstroke -13m(in the lap pool)
    >Breaststroke (feet turned out) with pop up to breath correct time – 13m(in the lap pool)
    > Butterfly (Dolphin) kick – 13m
    > Tread Water -10 sec
    > Forward roll to wall


    Lap pool:

      Class Skills developed



    Octopus
    6 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As an Octopus, I am working on:
    > Freestyle with bilateral breathing-20m
    > Backstroke with shoulder roll continuous -20m
    > Breaststroke – continuous - 15m.
    > Butterfly kick – 12m
    > Perform a kneeling dive
    > Tread water in deep water – 15sec
    > Introduce Butterfly arms on poolside only

     

     

    Otters
    6 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

     

    As an Otter, I am working on:
    > Freestyle with bilateral breathing – 25m
    > Backstroke with shoulder rotation – 25m
    > Breaststroke – 25m
    > Butterfly – 5 full strokes.
    > Tread water for 30sec in deep water
    > Perform a Kneeling or standing dive

     

     

     

    Dolphins
    7 per class
    30 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Dolphin, I am working on:
    > Continuously swim bilateral freestyle 50m
    > Continuously swim backstroke with rotation -50m
    > Breaststroke (pull-breath-kick-glide) 50m
    > Butterfly - 15m
    > Survival backstroke - 25m
    > Introduction to starts/ turns and finishes

     

    Sea Lions
    8 per pass
    45 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

     

    As a Sea Lion, I am working on:
    > Freestyle with correct turn and finish  100m
    > Backstroke with correct turns and finish 100m
    > Breaststroke with correct touch turn and finish 100m
    > Butterfly finish with touch turns and finish 25m
    > Tread water for  60sec
    > Introduce IM (Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and freestyle 100m)

     

    Sting Rays
    8 per class
    45 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

     

     

    As a Sting Ray, I am working on:
    > Freestyle with correct turns and finish 200m -400m
    > Backstroke with correct turns and finish 200m-400m
    > Breaststroke with correct turns and finish 200m-400m
    >Butterfly correct turn and finish -50m
    > Individual Medley ( IM) – 200m
    > Tread water -2min
     

     

     

    Sharks
    8 per class
    45 mins
    Book class - Queenstown
    Book class - Wānaka

    As a Shark, I am working on:
    > Proficient in all four strokes with correct starts / turns/ finishes.
    > Individual Medley ( IM) – 400m
    >Familiar with Swimming terms

     

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  • Our instructors have both nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, including the Assistant Swim Teacher Award (ASTA) from Swimming NZ, the National Swim Ed Certificate and the AUSTSWIM Australia's Teacher Licences.

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  • Term classes

    Description

    Per Term (10 weeks)

    Parent & Child classes (6-36 months)

    $125.00

    Pre-school classes (3-4 years)

    $125.00

    School age classes (5-16 years)

    $125.00

     

    Family discounts will apply when booking three or more children. Multi-lesson discounts will apply when your child takes more than one class per week. See the bookings section below.

     

    Individual classes

    Description

    Per person, per lesson

    Private lessons (30 mins)

    $35.00 (or $40 for two kids in the same lesson)

    Abilities classes (30 mins)

    $20.00

    Adults lessons (30 mins)

    $55.00

     

    Adult group lessons

    Description

    Per block of five lessons

    Members

    $62.50

    Non-members

    $95.00

     

    Click here to find more information on our swimming venues, swim memberships and casual prices.

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  • We provide a secure online system for class bookings and payments. Depending on your preferred location (Queenstown or Wanaka), expand the above QLDC Swim School section and select your option to either register for an online account (new customers), log back in (existing customers) or browse our online timetable first, prior to registering or logging in.

    Once you have selected your preferred class, you will have 2 payment options:

    1. Pay by direct debit (select “Perpetual” payment type) which will deduct fortnightly payments directly from your account. Your swim school enrolment will then automatically rollover to the next term and the class level will automatically adjust to your child's current swimming ability.

    2. Pay upfront for the full term (select “Term” payment type). If you would like to continue with swimming lessons next term, you will need to log back in (when the new term is published) to book and pay again.

    Please note, we try to be flexible with lesson times and work around your family's needs, however please be aware this is not always possible.

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  • Tight fitting togs, goggles, and cap (lap pool swimmers).

    Children swimming in rash shirts and board shorts are disadvantaged due to the drag that is created in the water by wearing them. This swimwear is great for the beach and to protect children from the sun but makes learning to swim difficult. You can purchase appropriate swimwear and aquatics equipment to assist your child’s swimming at our on-site shop, located in each of our facilities.

    Ages 3 and under

    While in classes and swimming, all children aged three years and younger age must wear swim nappies and tight fitting swim wear. The key requirement is that there are two lines of defence - nappy and togs. These are available for purchase at Customer Services or your nearest supermarket. Swim nappies can be disposable or reusable.

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  • QLDC Swim School is a gold quality provider as certified by the New Zealand Swim Teachers and Coaches Association (NZSCTA). All our instructors hold qualifications from Swimming New Zealand or AUSTSWIM and attend regular in-house training.

    Both centres provide:

    • Qualified, experienced instructors
    • A positive and comfortable learning environment
    • Small classes and a friendly, personalised service
    • Indoor heated swimming pools
    • Family orientated environment
    • Intensive Holiday Swim Week programmes
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  • Mix up the kids' school holidays with swim classes at Alpine Aqualand and Wānaka Recreation Centre. 

    A 30-minute swimming lesson each  day is an intensive way for children to rapidly develop their swimming skills and enhance their technique. Each child can enjoy free entry to the pool two hours prior to the lesson and as long as they like afterwards.

    Dates and times for the next school holiday swim programme are as follows:

    ALPINE AQUALAND

    • WEEK 1: Monday 11 - Friday 15 January

    •  WEEK 2: Monday 18 - Friday 22 January

    • WEEK 3: Monday 25 - Friday 29 January

    • Breaststroke clinic, subject to demand.

    30-minute lessons are held at Alpine Aqualand between 9.00am-12.00pm for different ability levels.

    WĀNAKA RECREATION CENTRE

    • WEEK 1: Monday 11 - Friday 15 January

    •  WEEK 2: Monday 18 - Friday 22 January

    • WEEK 3: No QLDC Swim School classes

    • Breaststroke clinic, subject to demand.

    30-minute morning lessons are held at Wanaka pool between 9.00am-12.00pm for different ability levels.

    Prices

    $62.50 per child per week (i.e. five lessons)

    For details of private lessons please contact the relevant swim school as per 'how to book' below.

    Levels

    Classes available for most pre-school and school age levels.

    How to Book

    Bookings are essential and must be made in advance.

    Contact your local swim school:

    Aqualand Swim School
    T: 03 450 9115
    aqualandswimschool@qldc.govt.nz

    Wanaka Swim School
    T: 03 443 9334
    wanakaswims@qldc.govt.nz

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  • Safety of children/swimmers at Swim School is of primary concern. To reduce the risk of accidents, safety measures are in place at Swim School facility. However, it is the parent’s or caregiver’s responsibility to ensure the children’s safety during their lesson and in any of our pools. 

    All children under the age of 8 years must be supervised by a parent or caregiver aged 16 years and over during their lesson and in any of our pools. 

    Find our supervision policy here

    For a full list of our swim school terms and conditions, please click here.

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