Spencer Park

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.

Access and opening hours


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 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.

Family activities, picnics and adventure

Family activities and picnics

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].

There are also a number of picnic areas and free barbeques in the park. View a map and find out about booking one of these spaces.

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


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.

Beach and Brooklands Lagoon


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.

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).

Fishing and camping


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.


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.