The Christchurch shoreline has many varied geographical features. Each area provides a unique place for wildlife and specialised coastal plants. It is a dynamic, ever-changing environment with much to see, do and treasure.
The beach is a kiwi staple over summer but it can be dangerous. Learn the risks, be prepared, and you can keep yourself and family safe.
This code offers simple tips on how to stay safe in the water:
Read more about the code(external link) and how you can use it to stay safe this summer.
The beach can hold many hazards such as strong rips and currents, boats, sudden drop offs and strong waves. Learn about the kinds of hazards(external link) you could encounter at the beach.
Rips are often the cause of people getting into trouble in the water. Learn how to identify a rip(external link) and what to do if you're caught in one.
Council commissioned a rip current education and awareness report for Scarborough Beach and Sumner Beach [PDF, 1.2 MB] in 2019, to review its existing signage at the popular recreational spots as one way to reduce the risk of drowning. Recommendations in the report are currently being reviewed and followed up on by Council, working with stakeholders in the community.
Always swim between the flags. Safe swimming between the flags can be found at the Surf Life Saving Clubs.
You will also find the dates and times that lifeguards patrol on the Surf Life Saving Club website(external link).
ChristchurchNZ(external link) offers a list of their favourite beaches and available facilities.
There is a summer beach prohibition for dogs between 1 November and 31 March, 9am and 7pm, to protect swimming and recreation activities. The areas of prohibition depend on the beach.
In all other seasons, dogs are allowed under effective control on most beaches.
Between November and March, water quality at all Christchurch beaches is monitored weekly.
The quality can change after heavy rainfall so if you're unsure, check the water quality map.