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The three main beaches around Christchurch are New Brighton Beach, Sumner Beach, and Taylor's Mistake. New Brighton Beach, about 8 km (5 mi) from the city center, is popular with surfers and fishers. The long pier that goes well out into the surf is a great place to stroll when the sea is calm, but even better when it's rough! Buses 5, 40, and 60 go here. At this writing very few of Brighton's stores have reopened, but the beach is still a superb spot for a long walk. Several bars and cafés are open along the esplanade. Sumner Beach is also pleasant for the long relaxing walk. Walk the first section along the sand to Cave Rock, which you can climb or walk through at low tide; it has wonderful acoustics. Walk the rest of the way along the esplanade (unless it's low tide), as the beach is fairly rocky. Sumner Village is based around the Cave Rock area, and there are several cafés and ice cream stops, including one right on the beach. You can catch a number 30 bus if you don't have a car. At this writing, the road to Sumner is in a bad state, so allow a bit of extra drive time and avoid the commuter rush hours. Experienced surfers prefer Taylor's Mistake, near Sumner, because the waves are higher. You can drive there over the Scarborough Hill or walk over a track, but there is no public transport. If you're lucky, you'll see tiny, rare, Hector's dolphins playing off Sumner Head on your way out.
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