In The Swim
Handy to the coastline, Christchurch rocks some serious beach action – but it’s also home to some sweet poolside oases. Here’s our picks on the best places to cool down this summer! For a salt water sensation it's hard to go past close-by gem Sumner. Its famous sandy beach is perfect for a dip or soaking up the rays, Cave Rock awaits exploration, and if you get bored the bustling boutiques and cafes of the seaside suburb are mere metres away. Around from Sumner you’ll find epic surf beach Taylor's Mistake, which boasts decent waves and several walks including the start of the Godley Head Walk.
Home to the pier, New Brighton beach is also quite swimmable (just make sure you stay between a surf club’s flags), great for kite flying, and the location of the city’s iconic Whale Pool, should you have any paddling youngsters in tow.
Around Banks Peninsula you’ll find Corsair Bay, just past Lyttelton, a summer hot spot complete with a raft and wharf to jump off (at high tide). In French-flavoured Akaroa meanwhile, the main beach offers stunning blue waters and a killer backdrop, while Daly’s Wharf is a popular dive post.
For the more adventurous, pack up the rental car and discover the off-the-grid charms of Camp Bay, Port Levy (location of Hollywood flick Z for Zachariah), Le Bons Bay or the clothing-optional Hikuraki Bay (don’t forget the sunscreen!), all found around the stunning Banks Peninsula.
Looking for a freshwater fix? If your accommodation doesn’t have a pool, head to the aquatic wonderlands of Jellie Park’s indoor and outdoor pools, hydro slide and diving towers in Burnside, or Graham Condon Pools’ year-round indoor complex near Northlands Mall in Papanui.
Hit the road for a scenic jaunt to Hanmer Springs to immerse yourself in the therapeutic waters of the iconic spa resort town. The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa's aquatic complex makes the most of the South Island’s famed, naturally-landscaped and heated mineral pools, and also offers a range of therapeutic treatments for a complete spa experience – all wrapped in a stunning alpine setting.
Christchurch City Council Pools www.ccc.govt.nz/rec-and-sport/pools
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa www.hanmersprings.co.nz