Accessible parks

Our parks are for everyone. Accessibility information for walking tracks, beaches, gardens and playgrounds.

Accessible parks and walks

A number of walking tracks are suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. Some of our most popular include:

Search our walks by accessibility.

Many of our beautiful heritage gardens and popular parks are also accessible including:

Accessibel

Accessibility means different things to different people. Accessibel's mission is to enable a wide spectrum of people to experience more of the natural world by providing all the information they need to explore.

The team at Accessibel have created detailed assessments of some of our tracks at Travis Wetland, Victoria Park and Halswell Quarry Park to identify potential obstacles and challenges for people with different needs.

Head to our walking track map and check the Accessible walking tracks box at the top of the map to see these tracks.

Accessibel(external link) also has a fantastic website that includes walks from all around New Zealand as well as Christchurch and Canterbury.

Beach access

North Brighton

North Beach Resident's Association has two Melrose beach wheelchairs free to hire (one adult and one child) plus the use of a mobility hoist. A beach mat is rolled out from November for the summer season.

Email northbeachra@gmail.com to book or drop into the Surf Club for more information.

There are accessible toilets and mobility parking at North Brighton Beach.

Other beaches

Sumner, Scarborough, Taylors Mistake, Waimairi, New Brighton and South Brighton Beaches all have accessible toilets and mobility parking available.

Outdoor wheelchair

The Halberg Foundation has kindly supplied a ViMo outdoor wheelchair that is free to hire from Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre.

The chair has a max weight of 100kg and is primarily designed for children and youth with a physical impairment who want to access some of New Zealand's beautiful outdoor recreation spaces.

This wheelchair can be taken anywhere in the Canterbury Region.

To book the wheelchair, please email Mitchell@halberg.co.nz and complete this form [DOCX, 112 KB]

Requirements of use

Please bring photo identification for Pioneer staff to check and keep a copy of upon pick up of ViMo.

The chair must be looked after and brought back in the same condition that it was left in. If there is debris and excess dirt/mud please clean this off.

If the chair is damaged or not working before or after use, please let us know so we can fix it.

For any deliberate or irresponsible damage, you will be liable for costs associated with repairing the chair.

Please let Halberg or Council staff know when the chair will be returned.

Please check the ViMo spec sheet [PDF, 3.2 MB] and setup instructions [DOCX, 614 KB] for more information.

Playgrounds

A number of playgrounds in Christchurch have accessible play equipment. Here are a few of our favourites.

Margaret Mahy Playground

Disability-friendly equipment, accessible pathways and a sand pit for wheelchair users.

Barrington Park Playground

A wheelchair-accessible climbing structure with ramps and visual aids, a carousel for wheelchairs and pushchairs, a net see-saw, wheelchair-accessible sand play, a basket swing and a high-backed infant swing. There are also accessible pathways, picnic tables and seating.

Scarborough Park Playground

Carousel for wheelchairs and pushchairs, a basket swing, a fully accessible water playground and accessible pathways and picnic tables.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens playground

This playground has a wheelchair-friendly Liberty Swing. To use the swing, collect a key from the Visitor Centre. There is also lots of seating, wide open spaces and level pathways.

Sensory and scented gardens

SmileDial Sensory Garden

Based in Rawhiti Domain, New Brighton, the SmileDial Sensory Garden provides a place for families who have children with different abilities and special needs to feel welcome and at home.

With smooth wide paths, interactive installations and plants to touch, taste and smell it offers a space for children to explore. It also has a sound garden and visual aid boards scattered throughout to assist our nonverbal members of the community.

The Memory Garden provides a place for planting and placing ornaments dedicated to those children who have passed away.

Botanic Gardens Fragrant Garden

Located next to the Cuningham House Conservatory and opposite the Rose Garden, the Fragrant Garden was designed for people with visual impairments. As the name suggests, it is full of fragrant flowers, shrubs and trees - many of which give off scent as you brush past them while walking around the garden. 

There are also areas to sit down and rest.

Abberley Park Scented Garden

In the mid-1950s a scented garden was designed for the blind to serve the nearby Fernwood Institute of the Blind hostel. This opened in 1964 and remnant elements can be seen as part of the Scented Garden today.