Spencer Park is a great place for a family day trip or a weekend stay at the nearby holiday park.

Bat down in Spencer Park; photo by Aaron Campbell.

Visit

Access

Spencer Park is 14km north-east of Christchurch. The main access is off Heyders Road.

Metroinfo (external link)has up-to-date bus information.

Opening hours

Gates are open from 8am to 7pm and during daylight saving months from 8am to 9pm. The Animal Park is open from 9am to 4pm.

Gate closures are administered by ADT security. A call out fee will be charged to release vehicles. Beach gates are closed at all times.

Dogs

Dogs are permitted in Spencer Park under effective control but must be on a leash in certain areas to protect wildlife values. 

Dogs are not permitted in Brooklands Lagoon or Spit, except on the Waimakariri Walkway where they must be on a short leash.

Please be aware that summer dog rules are in place at Spencer Park Beach. From 1 November to 31 March, between 9am and 7pm, dogs are prohibited 100 metres north and south of the Surf Life Saving Club pavilion. If passing through, dogs must be on a short leash. Outside of these times dogs are permitted under effective control.

Check the interactive dog map for more information.

Recreation

Play

Spencer Park has a small animal enclosure, a children’s adventure playground, a paddling pool, and many interesting short walks. Find out more about the park and what it has to offer in the Spencer Park and Brooklands Lagoon brochure [PDF, 1.1 MB].

Fish

Fishing and whitebaiting is popular but a permit and key must be obtained from the Spencer Beach Kiwi Holiday Park(external link) during office hours.

If driving a vehicle on the beach, please keep to the hard sand. Motorbikes, dune buggies and 4WD vehicles in the dunes damage plants, destroy wildlife and disturb nesting and roosting birds.

Camp

The Spencer Beach Kiwi Holiday Park(external link) is located right next Spencer Park and offers a wide range of accommodation. Visit www.spencerbeachholidaypark.co.nz(external link) to make a booking or enquiry. 

Adventure

Brooklands Lagoon and the coastal path provide much longer walks and are especially interesting for bird-watching. Just south of the park there are plenty of horse and biking routes in Bottle Lake Forest Park.

Adrenalin Forest also operates in Spencer Park. Check the website(external link) for opening hours and fees.

Picnics and bookings

If you're looking for a sheltered, relaxing picnic spot with easy vehicle access and close to the beach, look no further than Spencer Park!

There are a number of great picnic spots and free barbeques in the park. While you can't book a barbeque, you can book a picnic space - each area can accommodate up to 50 people.

To help with making your booking you can:

When you are ready to check availability and make a booking, contact us.

Please be aware that if you are arranging a publicly advertised gathering of more than 50 people you may need an event permit.

Spencer Park MapMap showing bookable areas [PDF, 232 KB]

Spencer Park is a rubbish-free park. Please be a tidy kiwi and take your rubbish home with you.

Beach and Brooklands Lagoon

Beach

The beach is a short walk or drive from the main park.

Safe swimming is between the flags at the Surf Life Saving Club in the summer months. Find out more.

Brooklands Lagoon

An important link in a chain of wetlands running along the coast of central Canterbury, Brooklands Lagoon is situated just north of Spencer Park and is the focal point of a number of walks in the area.

The lagoon is an important wildlife area and home to countless insects, invertebrates, fish, native plants and over 74 recorded species of wetland birds.

Read more about the history and environment(external link) on the Coastal Restoration Trust website(external link).

Seafield Wildlife Park

Seafield Wildlife Park; photo A Campbell. Open: Daily from 9am to 4pm.

Entrance: Directly opposite the main gate into Spencer Park.

Toilets: Located at Spencer Park.

Description:
The Seafield Wildlife Park has been offering an chance to get up close with small animals and birds for over 30 years.

During the 70s it peformed an important role in preserving several rare breeds of animal including Arapawa Island goats (old English goats) and Arapawa Island pigs (Oxford sandy pigs), both introduced there by Captain Cook. These, along with Arapawa Island sheep and Pitt Island sheep are now extinct in their country of origin.

Today the park only keeps a few examples of these animals but you can still see Arapawa sheep and kune kune pig as well as other small animals such as rabbits.

There are several aviaries of birds such as doves, and an assortment of chickens, geese, ducks and peacocks roam free in the park.

Please treat all wildlife with respect and care and do not feed the birds.

Walks

There are three dedicated walks in Spencer Park: