Christchurch Travel Guide
The three main beaches around Christchurch are New Brighton Beach, Sumner Beach, and Taylor's Mistake. New Brighton Beach, about 8 km (5 miles) from the city center, is popular with surfers and fishers. The long pier that goes well out into the surf is a great place to stroll when the sea is calm, but even better when it's rough! Buses 5 and 40 go here. Sumner Beach is also pleasant for the long relaxing walk. Walk along the sand to Cave Rock, the signal station at the top used to warn vessels approaching the Sumner bar in the 19th century. Children used to play at this large rock while their parents watched with a drink at the nearby beachside café but it’s currently fenced off and the signal station’s undergoing repairs. There are still a couple of those beachside cafés and the excellent Cornershop Bistro, but at this writing, Sumner is not yet back to the tourist destination it used to be. You can catch a number 3 bus if you don't have a car. Experienced surfers prefer Taylor's Mistake, near Sumner, where the waves are often higher. You can drive there over the Scarborough Hill but there is no public transport. If you're lucky, you'll see tiny, rare Hector's dolphins playing off Sumner Head on your way out.