& other free family fun

The Groynes

Groynes 04The Groynes is well known in Christchurch as a picnic spot: it has fantastic walks, fishing, boating, and a dog park.

There are three playgrounds and several BBQ areas. There’s lots to explore! Check out pics of the the latest playground below. Opened in April 2016, it’s located near the boatshed (follow the signs to Picnic Area 2). We loved the spinning rope “swing”, and the rope swing made from coconut fibre.

For something a bit different, try some easy orienteering at The Groynes. See below for more…

The Groynes is a rubbish-free park so you have to take your rubbish away with you. There are toilet facilities, but when we visited these seemed to be a mix of permanent buildings and port-a-loos – not the most inviting.

There is also a major motorway project underway so there is a new entrance and exit, which is sign posted.

We visited the Groynes in January 2016 (summer), and again in April 2017 (autumn).


There are two permanent courses at The Groynes: the easy white course (1.9 km) and the yellow course (2.6 km). You can download and print a map before you go from Peninsula and Plains Orienteers. We did the easy white course just using the map and grid we printed (doesn’t need to be in colour). You don’t need a compass. The posts are easy for kids to find with a bit of direction from a map reader, and this is an easy way to encourage exercise – running from post to post! The easy course starts in Picnic Area 2, by the bushes near the toilet block opposite the playground. Here’s a map of the picnic areas (it’s a bit old though).

Our orienteering visit in pictures

Click on a picture to view in a slideshow.


New playground (opened April 2016)


The Groynes is located off Johns Road in Northwood.

More information





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