About New Brighton

About New Brighton

New Brighton is located on the East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. We’re incredibly proud of our little slice of Aotearoa. This diamond in the rough provides a true insight into New Zealand. Our lived-in town has stunning views, unique local architecture, warm, friendly people and plenty of options to keep you entertained.

This area was first settled by the Ngāi Tūāhuriri – a sub-group of the local Ngāi Tahu iwi – sometime in the 13th century, possibly even earlier. They recognised the estuary as a great food source, with birds, shellfish, sea life, local berries and roots readily available. Today, the estuary is an important conservation area. It hosts a huge selection of wildlife, some of which migrate to their breeding ground all the way up in Alaska.

English settlers started to build homes here in 1858. By 1899, infrastructure and landscape development was beginning to shape our town, which grew to 1,008 residents by 1901.

New Brighton Pier with Redcliffs and Godley Head in the background

Home to Christchurch’s most well-known landmark, our 300-metre-long pier is actually the longest ocean pier in Australasia. First opened on 1 November 1997, this pier was a replacement of our first one, which stood from 1894 to 1965. 

The pier isn’t our only claim to fame. Our surf life saving club is the oldest in the country, being established in 1910. Along with our sister clubs of North Beach and South Brighton, we compete at the national level competitions.