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Best Beaches In & Around Ōtautahi Christchurch

Best Beaches In & Around Christchurch

Summer is the best time to get out there and enjoy Ōtautahi's natural playground - and our beaches are a great place to spend a day with the whānau.

With so many beaches to choose from you'll have plenty of space to spread out! Whether you love a game of beach cricket and splashing in the waves, or you're more of a lay on the beach with a good book type, we have beaches to suit everyone's taste. 

Sumner & Scarborough

Sumner is a beautiful beachside community where you'll find Sumner Beach and Scarborough Beach. Surfing and paddleboarding is popular at Scarborough Beach with learn to surf schools set up on the esplanade for those wanting to give it a go. Both beaches are popular for swimming, attracting many beachgoers on a hot summer's day. There's plenty of sand on Sumner Beach, perfect for laying in the sun or beach activities, while you'll find a playground complete with a paddling pool in Scarborough. If you feel like a walk, the beach promenade is perfect for a stroll. Top the day off with a delicious ice-cream from one of the many ice-cream shops in the area.

Facilities - Toilets and shower, car parking, surf lessons, cafés and restaurants.

By Bus - Purple Line to Sumner.

Credit: Stephen Goodenough

Taylors Mistake

Taylors Mistake is the ideal beach for surfing. Situated close to Godley Head Recreational Reserve, the area is also popular with runners, walkers and bikers. The tracks along the coast offer stunning views with wildlife spotting guaranteed. After your workout, the beach is a great place to take a quick dip in the cool water and dry off in the warm sun.

Facilities - Toilets and showers, car parking, playground.

By Bus - Purple Line to Sumner and then walk the Flower Track in Scarborough down to beach.

New Brighton Beach

Famous for its pier and sea view library, New Brighton Beach is a water sport lover's dream. You'll often see surfers and paddleboarders out enjoying the water. The beachside playground and splash area and He Puna Taimoana hot pools have been great additions to this fun and unique neighborhood. Family friendly events are put on throughout the year at New Brighton Beach with a real sense of community. Kite Day in January is one for the calendar!

Facilities - Toilets and showers, car park, surf lessons, cafés and restaurants.

By Bus - Yellow Line to New Brighton

Waimairi Beach

Waimairi Beach is a popular surfing and kite surfing spot. Its long stretch of beach is popular for walking and there are many walking tracks that surround the beach including the Southern Pegasus Bay Track and Bottle Lake Forest Park.

Across the road, Broad Park offers shady picnic spots and a large kids' playground. The nearby Waimairi Beach Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 72 course on 44 hectares.

Facilities - Toilets and showers, car park, cafés.

By Bus - Purple line to North Shore and then walk to Waimairi Beach.

Spencer Park Beach

Spencer Park Beach is a great place for a family day trip, or a weekend stay at the nearby holiday park.

Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including swimming, picnicking, walking and biking on this long beach. The park itself provides ample green spaces for relaxation, and there are great facilities for barbecues and family gatherings including a children's adventure playground and paddling pool.

If you're up for a longer walk, Brooklands Lagoon and the coastal path are great, and especially interesting for bird-watching.

Adrenalin Forest also operates in Spencer Park if you are up for a bit of adventure!

Facilities - Toilets and showers, car park, cafés.

By Bus - You can catch bus 480 from the Palms to Kainga.

Woodend Beach

Woodend Beach is popular and safe for swimming, surfing, walking, running and horse riding because of its long stretch of sand. The playground area is a favourite location for picnics.

Facilities - Toilets, car parking, cafés and restaurants, holiday park.

By Bus - Blue Line to Kaiapoi and then bus # 951 Kaiapoi/Pegasus.

Waikuku Beach

Waikuku Beach is another long beach great for fishing, kitesurfing, horse riding or simply spending a day out with family and friends. The domain has a playground, paddling pool, flying fox, tennis court, basketball court and a skateboard area - many people also camp at the holiday park. Explore the forest walks or try the 5 different golf courses located close by.

Facilities - Toilets and showers, car parking, cafés.

By Bus - Blue Line to Kaiapoi and then bus # 951 Kaiapoi/Pegasus.

Corsair Bay

Corsair Bay is a beautiful bay only a few minutes’ drive from Lyttelton and is the perfect place for a relaxing family picnic. Swim out to the pontoon or sunbathe in the grass while watching the kids play in the shallow water. There is no better way to spend a summers day!

Facilities - Toilets and changing rooms, playground, car parking.

By Bus - Purple Line to Sumner change onto 535 Lyttelton/Rapaki.

Note - Please check the water quality before swimming. 

Akaroa And Banks Peninsula

There are so many beautiful beaches and bays nestled throughout Banks Peninsula and Akaroa. The area is very popular for fishing and boating. Throw yourself into the water off Daly's Wharf or go for a drive to explore the outer bays. Enjoy the cute restaurants & cafés along the waterfront in Akaroa, perfect for drinks and nibbles after a leisurely day.

Facilities - Toilets, car parking, cafés and restaurants.

By Bus - Akaroa French Connection.

Note - Please check the water quality before swimming. 

Stay Safe In The Water

To ensure a fun and safe day, please be aware of the beach rules in New Zealand. Find out more about NZ water safety tips.