The pier was built originally in 1894 and was demolished in 1964.
$4 million was raised by the council and community funds to build a new pier, and in 1987 it was opened. You can get good views of the ocean at the end, though on a nice weekend day a lot of people will fish from it, and if you dont like the smell of fish and blood then you might want to avoid it. It is pretty fun watching the people on the beach as well, kids playing, surfing lessons and that sort of thing.
There is also a library at the beginning of the pier and a cafe underneath. A kids paddling pool is situated nearby.
After Sumner we drove a few more k's and we ended up in New Brighton, where the people of Christchurch and New Brighton built this great pier. If the amount you donated to the pier was big you can even have a bench or a lantern named after you. Great idea or not? There were lots of surfies riding the big waves here. We opted for something less adventurous and cold (!!) and went into the library instead and afterwards had a nice milkshake at the cafe right next to the pier and under the library building.
Though I didn't actually go fishing myself I did stand around and watch some local fishermen fish off the end of the New Brighton Pier. They seemed to be catching some pretty big ones as well as some smaller fish (sharks!) that they would just throw back into the water. Some guys had 3 or 4 lines in the water at once.
There was a posted sign which described and depicted most of the fish that are caught in the area (as well as the catch limits for each).
It was an interesting way to spend an hour or so on a cool winter day in Christchurch.
A walk along the New Brighton Pier is a must for any visitor and if you are keen to do some fishing from the pier this is also possible. The New Brighton Library is located on the beach front and provides wheelchair access to the pier as well as views from the large windows if you prefer to stay inside.
A major event that happens every year on November 5th is the fireworks extravaganza on the pier that is spectacular and can be viewed from many vantage points along the beach.