If you want to beat the heat and take a refreshing dip this summer, here’s our top five picks for places to go.
If you fancy a dip in the sea but want to avoid the crowds, head to Hays Bay in Lyttelton Harbour. Lovely and quiet, Hays Bay gets the full afternoon sun but is protected from almost all the wind.
It is also nice and shallow with no waves which makes the water warmer and safer for small children. If you’re not feeling like exerting too much energy, it’s the perfect spot for lounging back on an old-fashioned lilo. Parking and access to the beach is from Black Rock Road.
No list of ‘top swimming spots’ would be complete without mention of Taylor’s Mistake (pictured above). Yes, it can get crowded on a scorching hot summer day, but you can understand why. One of Christchurch’s most beautiful beaches, Taylor’s Mistake is relatively sheltered and has good surf, making it popular with both swimmers and surfers.
If you’re planning a visit to Taylor’s Mistake, why not also test your fitness on the Awaroa/Godley Head Loop Track. The track offers spectacular and panoramic views of Lyttelton Harbour and the eastern coastline. You will also discover old cave dwellings along the route and historical World War II gun emplacements. At the end of your walk, you can cool off in the sea.
If you fancy splashing among the waves, then we recommend Waimairi Beach. Located at the northern end of New Brighton, Waimairi Beach is good for swimming and kite surfing. And when the sandy beach gets too hot, you can nip across the road to Broad Park where there is a great playground and grassy picnic areas.
On summer weekends and school and public holidays surf lifeguards patrol the beach so it’s a great spot for a family day out. Just remember to swim between the flags!
All of Christchurch City Council’s public pools will be open over the summer but if we had to choose just one to visit it would be Waltham Summer Pool. We love its relaxed vibe and the beached entry to the lane pool which makes it easily accessible.
There’s a toddler pool for the little ones and a cool hydroslide for the kids to ride. You can also spend the whole day there and enjoy a BBQ with friends or families as there are BBQs for hire.
Families with small children should make a bee-line for the Abberley Park paddling pool in St Albans. It’s great for toddlers and has a sun shade over it so they can splash around for hours. There is also a playground and lots of big trees that provide shady spots for picnics or a sneaky read.
There are also great paddling pools at Spencer Park, New Brighton beach, Scarborough Park, Woodham Park, Avebury Park, Edgar Macintosh Park, and the Botanic Gardens.
You can check out the water quality at other popular swimming spots around Canterbury and New Zealand on the Land Air Water Aotearoa website.