Looking for things to do in Christchurch this summer? Why not head out to the beach! Christchurch and the greater Canterbury region boast some amazing beaches worth exploring. So whether you're looking for somewhere to swim, sunbath, stroll or simply sit back with a picnic then check out our favourites:
Situated close to the epicentre of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Sumner is a close knit community that has pulled together to rebuild their quaint seaside suburb. Besides a stunning sandy beach you'll find cozy cafes, boutique shops, and rustic restaurants sprinkled along the sidewalks. Activities available include learning to surf at the Surf School, Italian cooking lessons or catching a flick at the Hollywood 3 Cinema - open since 1938! Look out for the Stedfast Brass Band playing at Scarborough during Feb and March 2017.
Famous for its pier, New Brighton is a great swimming beach just eight kilometres from the city centre. New Brighton plays host to a number of well known Christchurch events throughout the year, including a fireworks display on New Year's Eve and the ever popular Kite Day. Held south of the pier on Saturday the 24th of January, you can witness an amazing range of kites of all shapes, sizes and colours. Come and watch or build your own and give it a whirl to be in to win one of the spot prizes. Also check out the Tiny Huts, whch will be at Brighton until March 2017.
Nestled in a picturesque bay along from Sumner is Taylors Mistake. This is usually a great for a spot of surfing with decent sized waves, and if you want to check before venturing out, you can always check the following surf watch which has webcams which update every minute. If you're one that struggles to sit idly, then we recommend the walk to Godley heads (or one of these other Christchurch walks). You'll be rewarded with stunning coastal views and may even spot an Orca or two.
Situated close to Kaiapoi and the mouth of the Waimakariri River mouth, Pines Beach is a good spot for a bit of fishing. Launch the surf caster and catch a few Kowhai for dinner, or if that's not your cup of chowder then you could walk the Pegasus Track to Woodend beach. For further activities in the area be sure to check out the Visit Waimakariri website.
If you're looking to do a day trip from Christchurch then Akaroa is the place to go! The main beach is an excellent spot for those young and old to take a dip in picturesque surrounds. Once dried off, you may like to take a nature cruise on Akaroa harbour to see the playful Hector's dolphins, seals, dolphins and sea birds. Settled by the French, Akaroa has many remnants from its colourful past. Wile the hours away by getting lost among the French-named side streets whilst devouring an icecream or some delicious fudge from the local vendor. Magnifique.
Le Bons Bay
Another day trip worth the effort is to Le Bons Bay (or tag onto your trip to Akaroa). The beach is nice and sandy, perfect for a bit of cricket on the beach, swimming on long summer days with friends and family, or dragging a set net to catch a few flounders.
This hidden gem, is located a little bit along from Lyttelton. Swim out to the pontoon, sunbathe or take the short walk to Cass Bay (passing Little Corsair Bay on the way, which is so secluded you can often have to yourself). If you're feeling energetic then hire yourself a paddleboard and test out your coordination!
Post the Christchurch earthquakes it's common practice to check water quality, the following handy resource from LAWA (Land Air Water Aotearoa) lets you know the Overall Recreation Risk for beaches and rivers in the area.
So there you have it, some amazing beaches worth exploring in the Christchurch area, all within a relatively short driving distance from the city centre. If you're looking for Christchurch accommodation nearby then take a look at our Christchurch Top 10 accommodation options.