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New Brighton

New Brighton Beach is a popular spot for most recreational activities, especially during summer. There is a camping ground in the area, and the beach has excellent facilities, so numbers tend to swell in and around the beach area in the summer months. The safest conditions are in surf under 1 metre, however users should be aware of the conditions as change can happen quickly at this beach due to the exposed nature of the coastline. The Christchurch Pier is located towards the southern end of the beach. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer weekends, and during the week in the school holiday period.

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Family friendly

This beach is great for families large and small, with typically small waves and great facilities. It is patrolled by Surf Lifeguards during the summer months.


Swimming at New Brighton is generally safest under surf conditions of 1 metre and most popular in the summer months. The beach slopes gently into the ocean. In larger seas, dangerous holes and rips can develop. Swimmers should avoid swimming too close to the pier, as rip currents form in this area. The beach is patrolled during the summer months, in the weekends by volunteer guards, and during the school holiday week period by professional guards. In modest surf conditions there are rip currents to be aware of, so people should swim between the flags at all times. At low tide, a gutter forms between the sand bars, and the waves tend to dump onto the second bar. As this area of Canterbury coast line is quite exposed, the beach is very open to environmental conditions and rarely has no waves.


New Brighton has a beach break which is offshore in west to southwest winds. There are usually 2 bars, but more can develop in larger seas. The best conditions vary due to the bars, however it is generally best just before and just after high tide. At lower tides the wave tends to dump onto the bars. Favourable conditions are not consistent. Surfers should be aware of the Pier towards the southern end of the beach and the dangers associated with surfing to close to it.


Surfcasting is possible of New Brighton beach, however as the sea floor is quite shallow, offshore fishing is much better. There are no rocky headlands to fish from. The pier at the beach is the best fishing spot as this allows anglers to get some distance out into the water to cast their rods.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Dog walking
  • Wind/kite surfing
  • Wind-powered vehicles


  • 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 New Brighton and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



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

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Cloud with possible showers
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Poor. 3/10
Poor. 1/10



Safety at New Brighton

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

Patrolled Beach

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

Patrol Hours

New Brighton Beach is patrolled on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays between 15 November 2019 and 15 March 2020. Volunteer lifeguards patrol from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Saturdays and 11:00am to 5:00pm on Sundays. A Regional Lifeguard Service is provided Monday to Friday from 10:00am to 6:00pm during 16 December 2019 to 31 January 2020.


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 New Brighton. 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


New Brighton is a golden sand stretch of beach 1800 metres in length which slopes gently into the ocean. It is located on the coastline of the Christchurch suburb of New Brighton which is 10 kms east of the central city. The beach is part of the very exposed Canterbury coastline, with no protective natural features. The beach has excellent public facilities. The Christchurch Pier is located at the beach, about 200 metres south of the New Brighton Surf Life Saving Club which is situated midway along the beach. A rock wall extends between these two features, immediately in front of the main car park and main access to the beach. There are a number of other access points along the beach with minimal parking. New Brighton Beach is a popular place in the summer months for Christchurch locals and visitors to the region.

Public Transport

Bus: http://www.metroinfo.org.nz


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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

Low Risk

Between 1 and 5% 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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