5 miles east of Christchurch CBD, New Brighton is a popular coastal suburb, with good transport links and a balmy, laid back vibe. The resort is split into three sections - North New Brighton, New Brighton and South New Brighton.
It's a long stretch of straight coastline, overlooking scenic Pegasus Bay, with good facilities including bars, shops, restaurants, a golf course, plenty of holiday accommodation, and good surfing and sunbathing beaches. New Brighton is popular with birdwatchers, who come to the spit to see rare species and mass migration.
Hikers, orienteerers and cyclists are drawn to the numerous reserves and plantations around North New Brighton, which offer serenity, stunning landscape, and amazing views out over the water. The Avon River passes right through the town, to an inlet which itself flows out to Pegasus Bay.
Marine Parade runs the length of New Brighton's coastline, offering access to many beaches and sand dunes. The road offers parking, holiday apartments, parks, shops and cafes, plus some quite old buildings that give the town a rustic feel. Most of the action can be found in central New Brighton, with a mall, library, clock tower, and the impressive pier, which stretches nearly 1,000ft out into Pegasus Bay.
The Rawhiti Domain, to the north, is a great place for fans of the outdoors, with a golf course, tennis court, rugby pitch, cricket pitch, archery and kids playgrounds.
New Brighton is a growing centre for local arts and crafts, too, so it's a good place to go foraging for unique souvenirs. There's a market held on the first Saturday of every month, at New Brighton Mall, and a stroll around Beresford Street, Brighton Mall, Seaview Road and Shaw Avenue offers plenty of places to shop, eat and drink.
Various buses serve New Brighton from Christchurch, so it's worth leaving the car in town and making a day trip here.