As we approach the spring months, it’s not long before you can start to plan your summer holiday. Canterbury is an awesome place to visit during the summer months and Christchurch is a great place to base yourself for exploring the region. Within easy driving distance of Christchurch CBD, you will find a number of amazing beaches.

Whether you enjoy surfing of sunbathing, the beaches in Christchurch and around cater for every occasion. There are some cracking beaches that are perfect for beach cricket as well as secluded beaches away from the crowds.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the best beaches in Christchurch and around so you can start planning your summer holidays! Make sure to check out our Christchurch car rental options!

1.      Sumner and Scarborough


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Perhaps one of the most popular beaches in the area is Sumner and Scarborough. It’s great for those who enjoy swimming and surfing but the huge sandy beach is also great for sunbathers and cricketers alike. There is a really lovely beach promenade if you fancy a stroll and a number of cafes, restaurants and bars to quench your summer thirst. The beach is easily accessible by car or bus from the CBD.

2.      Corsair Bay


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A great day trip if you are staying in the CBD is out to the port of Lyttleton. After exploring the port town, head around to Corsair Bay – the perfect little beach for relaxing with the family. There is a really nice grassed area which is perfect for sunbathing and a great spot to watch the kids play in the shallow waters. You will also find a pontoon out to sea which is popular with kids and adults alike. Toilets and changing rooms are also available.

3.      Taylors Mistake


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An unusual name for a beach but a great little spot for surfers. Located out near Sumner and Scarborough near the Godley Head Recreational Reserve, this is a place that is popular with the active community. Whether it’s surfing, running, biking or hiking, the area caters really well for everyone. After a workout, there’s nothing better on a warm summer’s day than cooling off in the water. It’s just a short walk from Sumner beach so you can make a day of it and visit a couple of beaches in the same day.

4.      New Brighton Beach


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New Brighton Beach is perhaps most famous for its pier but there’s much more to this place. Super-popular with families, there are events on all through the summer months in and around Brighton Beach – Kite Day at Brighton Beach in January is always a popular one but there are heaps of other events through the season.  There are heaps of cafes, restaurants and bars in the area and a great kids’ play area too.

5.      Waikuku


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Located a short drive north of Christchurch you will find the quaint little town of Waikuku. This is another of Christchurch’s most popular beaches and on windy days, you will find kite surfers out in their droves. As well as an awesome beach which is a great place to spend the day with family and friends, there is a really cool domain which features a paddling pool, flying fox, tennis and basketball court and a skateboard area. There is also some good walking in the area so you can make a real day out of your trip to Waikuku.

6.      Woodend


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Located at the south end of the domain at Waikuku you will find Woodend Beach. It also enjoys easy access to the domain and is a family favourite thanks to safe swimming which is perfect for kids. There are some good breaks here as well though which are perfect for surfers and if you are looking for something a bit more active, there is also the opportunity to try horse riding on the beach as well as some great running and walking tracks.

7.      Le Bons Bay


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A bit of a hidden gem and a top tip from one of our Go Explorers, Le Bons beach is a quintessential bach bay. Here, you will find a small cluster of summer baches and not much else other than an absolutely stunning beach. Located out on the Banks Peninsula, it’s a good couple of hours drive heading out towards Akaroa. If you are looking for something completely secluded and away from the crowds, this is your spot. Tie it in with a trip to Akaroa but definitely make the extra loop to discover this stunning bay.

8.      Tumbledown Bay


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Sticking out on the Banks Peninsula, Tumbledown Bay is another quiet and peaceful bay, tucked away on the southern coast of the peninsula. It’s a great spot for those just starting off with surfing with gentle rolling breaks – ideal for beginners. You are not likely to find many other tourists in this hidden gem but you will no doubt see a few fishermen as this is a great little spot for casting off the rocks.

9.      Hickory Bay


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Located one bay around from Le Bons Bay you will find Hickory Bay – another absolute hidden gem. This spot is popular with surfers who will gladly make the trip down from Christchurch to spend a day catching the breaks. Its position on the peninsula means it attracts great waves all year round which will range from 1 to 12 metres in height. If you are spending the day in Akaroa and feeling adventurous, you can actually reach Hickory Bay on foot via some hiking trails.

10. Akaroa


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One of our favourite spots in all of Canterbury, Akaroa is a stunning town hidden in the valleys of the Banks Peninsula. The beach here is another gem, but there is so much more to Akaroa than just the beach. Akaroa is home to some of our most spectacular wildlife including the world’s smallest marine dolphin, Hector’s Dolphin. There is also a colony of penguins that call Akaroa home so as well as the stunning beach, you will not be short of things to do on a trip to Akaroa.

Christchurch Beaches Round-Up

These are definitely some of our favourite beaches in and around Christchurch, however, we would love to get your suggestions – are there any absolute gems that we have missed off our list? Let us know and we will add them to our list and give you a shout out! If you have been to any of the beaches and have some amazing photos, we would love to see them so make sure you share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Summer is just around the corner so hopefully, all this talk of beaches is inspiring you to plan in your summer holiday!