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Riversdale Beach

Riversdale Beach is a popular seaside resort in the Wairarapa. The beach has a solid residential base and there are numerous holiday homes. The beach also has a motor camp, shop and golf course that attract people to the area. The beach is safe when there is only a small wave but large dangerous swells are common here and all beach users need to be very careful. Swimmers should stay in the Lifeguard patrolled area and all beach users should ask the Lifeguards for advice if they are in doubt.

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Family friendly

This beach is well suited for families, make sure your family is prepared for the beach conditions, the beach is patrolled by Surf Lifeguards during the summer months.


Riversdale beach has a low swash gradient and is reasonably safe for swimming. Bathers should watch out for rips and holes that can form quickly when there is a wave running and waves are present at this beach nearly all the time. Riversdale Surf Life Saving Club is situated at the northwest end in front of the motor camp. There are rocky headland at both the north and south ends and these should be avoided. Swimmers should always swim in the patrolled area and ask advice from the lifeguards.


Surf at Riversdale can be good and there are normally some good bars at the northwest end. The beach works best at high tide but can be surfed at any tide. The beach is offshore in a westerly wind.


Surfcasting from the beach can be productive especially around the rocky outcrops. There is a boat ramp at southern end and the soft sand means that a 4WD or a tractor will be required to launch the boat. Boat fishing in the area is very good as there are lots of rocks and reefs to fish and dive around. Riversdale Beach will commonly have large dangerous surf and boats can not be launched in such conditions.

Activities and facilities


  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Motorbikes/4WD's
  • Shell fish gathering


  • Boat launching
  • Car parking
  • Food and beverage kiosk
  • Public toilets


The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at Riversdale Beach and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



Patrolled Beach
Riversdale Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Sunny and clear skies
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Poor. 2/10
Poor. 3/10



Safety at Riversdale Beach

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Riversdale Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►

Patrolled Beach

Patrolling club: Riversdale SLSC
Patrolled Beach
Riversdale Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Patrol Hours

The volunteer patrol service at this beach commences Labour weekend 2018 12 to 5pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Regular weekend patrols commence 8th December 2018 till the end of February 2019, also 12 to 5pm. Daily patrols are from Christmas Day (12 - 5pm) then from Boxing Day 9.30am - 5.30pm through till 27th January 2019. The last patrols will be Easter weekend, 22 - 25 March 2019 12 - 5pm.


Click a safety symbol for more information on the risk

4 simple rules to keep you safe

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Riversdale Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►

The Water Safety Code:

  • Be prepared
  • Watch out for yourself and others
  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits
DIAL 111 in the event of an emergency


Riversdale Beach is 3 kilometres in length and is situated 56 kilometres southeast of Masterton. The beach is a course golden sand. Riversdale Beach has rocks and reefs scattered along its shore and are a kilometre out to sea however there are large rock formations at the northwest end and southeast end that stretches out into the ocean. There is a river mouth at the northwest end. Riversdale Beach faces northeast.

Public Transport

Sorry, we have no public transport information available for this beach.


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Beach Water Quality

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (enterococci) data collected over the last three years. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

Overall recreation risk

The long term risk status based on three years of data

Very Low Risk

Less than 1% risk of illness

Many councils also provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

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