Christchurch has a special beach, right on it doorstep. Just 20 minutes through the eastern suburbs from the centre of the city lies New Brighton Beach. It is a sandy beach stretching 18 km from the Waimakariri River in the north to the spit in the south. We entered the beach just by the well-known New Brighton Pier, towards the southern end of the beach, and walked to the spit. There was an incoming tide on a calm and sunny winter morning.
This pier was opened in 1997 (replacing the first one which was opened in 1894). It is 300 metres long. Many fisherman use it, especially at high tide, and sometimes crab pots can be seen hanging from its sides.
These are the cliffs of Godley Heads and Scarborough, as seen from the beach. The earthquakes in February 2011 have caused the cliff faces to shear off.
At the southern end of the beach is the spit, and parts of the suburb of Sumner can be seen. The houses on Clifton Hill were badly damaged by the February earthquake, when the hillside broke away leaving houses teetering on the edge. These houses still have not been removed more than two years after the quakes.
Shipping containers have been placed at the foot of the hill to protect the road, which is the main access from the city for Sumner and Scarborough residents.