The Best Walks in New Brighton

The Best Walks in New Brighton

New Brighton might still be within Christchurch's city limits, but we're surrounded by stunning nature. So get out there and enjoy it with our favourite walks:

South New Brighton Sculpture Garden

Best for a Quick Pit Spot.

Head south along Marine Parade and you’ll see a these sculpture pop up. This garden is a community effort created by local artists, including local blind/deaf artist Donald Gibson. Wander through the sculptures and over the dunes for beautiful views of Scarborough Hill and Godley Head.

Wooden sculpture of a woman
Couple holding hands walking on beach

New Brighton Beach

Best for Sunrise and a Long Walk.


It wouldn’t be a walks list without including the beach here. There’s 18km of beach to wander on, so there’s plenty to explore. If you head north your walk can extend into Bottle Lake Forrest, and to the South you can connect to our Estuary, or arrive at the pier at dawn for an epic sunrise.

Oruapaeroa/Travis Wetland

Best for bird watching.


Being the largest fresh water wetland in Christchurch, it makes for a great inner city adventure for exploring both nature, and our amazing birdlife. You spot plenty of Pukeko and Canadian Geese, but if you look closer you’ll spy some of our other birds such as Poaka/Pied Stilts, Tauhou/Wax Eyes, Kotuku/White Heron, and Kōtare/King Fisher. You might even spot our elusive native skink. 


The full walk around the wetland takes about an hour. All the tracks are accessible by wheel chair, but bikes, skateboards etc aren’t allowed. Climb the look out platform for views of the Port Hills and Southern Alps. Gates are open 8am-8pm year round, and dogs a strictly prohibited.

Kotare/kIng fisher sitting on a stick
Landscape of boardwalk through a wetland
Graffiti of a duck by Dove and Tepid

New Brighton Village

Best for Street Art.

If you’re a street art enthusiast, you don’t want to pass over out little village. its absolutely packed full of world class street art. Street art is always changing so there’s always something new to see, particularly on the Free Wall which is a legal space for artists to paint and is ever changing. Be sure to stick your head into Alice in Putterland for more epic indoor walls.

For more info check out our video on street art or check out our street art map.

Rawhiti Domain

Best for Accessibility.

The second biggest park in Christchurch, Rāwhiti is seriously underrated, although the word is starting to get out. Families come from all over Canterbury to explore here, particularly ones with neurodivergent children.

The Sensory Garden is designed to give all children, especially those with special needs, the change to explore their senses through nature. It includes non verbal communication signs.

Head deeper into the park and you’ll find the Woodland Playground and Butterfly Garden. The playground has been designed with accessibility in mind, and is a beautiful setting to encourage children to engage with nature.

Other special mentions in Rāwhiti include the Eastern Sports Canopy, a covered area for sports in all weather, Thompson Skate Park, and The New Brighton Community Gardens, which is a truely magical spot to visit.

Children playing at the Fairy Glen in Rawhiti
Entrance sign at Bottle lake forest

Waitakiri/Bottle Lake Forest Park

Best For Wind Shelter.

Hey, we live on the East Coast of an island, it gets windy sometimes! But disappear into the forrest at Bottle Lake and you’d never know. Wander with your dog, hunt for mushrooms, or if you prefer to be on wheels, hit the mountain bike trails.

To find the fairy forrest head along Apple road, close to the main entrance on Waitikiri Drive.

Its easy to get lost, so here’s a tip: Roads that are named alphabetically (Apple, Bravo, Charlie etc) run North to South. Roads named sequentially run East to West, starting from 10th by Spencer Park to the 28th by Parklands. Most junctions are signposted.

Gates are open 7am – 9pm year round.

Ihutai/Avon-Heathcoate Estuary

Best Sunset views.

We’re very spoiled – we get sunrise and sunset over beautiful bodies of water here. Pull up on sunset for a picnic, and stroll. Or if you like to explore by bike, the estuary trails connect to the river trail meaning you can bike all the way from the city centre to Southshore Spit. 
The Estuary is home to 118 different types of bird species which makes it another great spot for bird watching.

arial view of estuary