Frequently asked questions

ABOUT HE PUNA TAIMOANA

What does the name He Puna Taimoana mean?

It means “coastal pools” or “seaside pools”. The name was gifted to us by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tūāhuriri.

GETTING HERE

Where are you?

We are located at 195 Marine Parade in New Brighton, Christchurch. We’re just north of the New Brighton Library, next to the whale pool playground.

You can find us on Google Maps here

Where can I park my car?

There is plenty of free car parking on the street along Marine Parade, or you can park in the public beachside car park just next to us.

How do I get to you if I don’t have a car?

The number 5 and number 60 buses will bring you here from the central city. The bus journey takes approximately 25 minutes.

OPENING HOURS

What are your opening hours?

We’re open every day of the year except Christmas Day. We have four two-hour sessions each day at the following times:

10am–noon

12.30pm–2.30pm

3pm–5pm

5.30pm–7.30pm

We’re also open on Friday nights from 8pm–10pm (adults only, no children at this session). We also have other evening events on throughout the year – keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.

We have a Sunrise Soak session that operates each Saturday from Waitangi Weekend in February until Labour Weekend in October. Find out more about the Sunrise Soak here.

How long can I stay?

Each session is 1 hour and 45 minutes, but if you arrived at the very start of the session and left at the very end of the session you could have up to two hours in the facility – note that this includes time checking in and getting changed.  

Can I arrive late or halfway through a session?

Yes, but you’ll still need to leave at the end of the session.

Why does my ticket give a time that is 15 minutes later than the session start time?

We stagger the entry times to avoid crowding in reception and the changing rooms at the start of a session. Contact us if you’d like to come at the earlier time.

Do you close in bad weather?

We open in nearly all weather conditions. We close the pools during lightning storms or during extreme weather events, for health and safety reasons.

BOOKINGS, TICKETS, AND MEMBERSHIPS

Do I need to book?

Bookings are highly recommended, as we often sell out at popular times. You can turn up and buy tickets at the time of the session, but only as long as we’re not fully booked.

How do I book?

Most people book and pay on our website, but you can also book and pay over the phone or in person.

Your website shows that you are full. Should I call you to make a booking?

No – the availability shown on our website is live. If we have any cancellations, the cancelled tickets immediately go back on to the website for resale.

I really want to come to a particular session but it’s fully booked. Do you have a waitlist?

No, we don’t operate a waitlist.

What is the difference between Peak and Off Peak pricing?

Peak pricing is slightly more expensive than off peak and applies to our busiest times – evenings, weekends, public holidays and school holidays.

What does the admission price get me access to?

Tickets give you access to all of the pools. In addition, we have a sauna and steam room which are available to guests aged 16 years and older.

Can I pay with cash?

No, we are a cashless facility and only accept card payment or Paywave.

I live in Christchurch, can I get a local’s discount?

We have a Christchurch resident discount for people who have one of our Christchurch Resident Cards, or who can otherwise show that they are Christchurch City Council ratepayers or residents.

What other discounts do you offer?

We have a discount for seniors with a SuperGold card, and we also have discounts for people who have Hāpai/KiwiAble cards and Community Services Cards.

Do you have a student discount?

We don’t have a discount for tertiary students, but high school students with ID (e.g. Cando card) can get a child ticket.

What age does your Child ticket cover?

Four years old up to 16 years old (17 and 18 year olds can get the child ticket if they have proof that they’re still at high school). Children aged three and younger can get a free infant ticket.

Can children come to He Puna Taimoana by themselves?

Only once they’re aged 14 years or older.

Do you take group bookings?

Yes, groups are welcome. However, due to the size of our facility, we don’t offer a group rate.  

Can people with a Green Prescription use your pools for free?

No, but there are plenty of other pools in Christchurch that you can access on this scheme.

What if I can’t make my booked session?

Let us know as soon as possible. Depending on how much notice you give, we may be able to offer a reschedule or refund.

Can I buy gift vouchers?

Yes, we sell gift vouchers both online and in person.

How do I redeem a gift voucher?

If the gift voucher amount is the same or less than the value of your booking then you can redeem it online – enter the voucher code into the gift voucher box in the shopping cart section of the online booking. If the gift voucher amount is more than the value of your booking (and you require change) then you can redeem your voucher directly with us – please phone or email to make your booking.

How do I find out about special sessions and events?

Follow us on Facebook, or sign up for our newsletter.

MEMBERSHIPS

Do you have membership passes?

Yes, we have three types of membership passes – Annual Pass, Month Pass, and 10 Visit Pass.

Can I share my membership pass with other people?

No, each pass is for the sole use of the named cardholder and can’t be shared.

Do I need to book if I have a membership pass?

You don’t need to book for any of our normal four daily sessions – just turn up and present your card at reception. Membership passes don’t give access to our late night 8pm sessions or our early morning Sunrise Soak sessions.

I am a member and I want to bring someone with me. Do they need to book?

Yes.

Can I use my membership pass to access a late night session or early morning session?

Membership passes don’t give access to our late night 8pm sessions or our early morning Sunrise Soak sessions.

I have a membership with Christchurch City Council’s recreation centres – does this pass work for He Puna Taimoana too?

No, although we are part of the Council, our membership operates separately.

I have a 10 Visit Pass – how long do I have to use the ten visits?

You have one year to use your ten visits.

Can I get a discount on my membership?

We offer discounted memberships to children, seniors with SuperGold cards, and adults with Community Services Cards and Hāpai/KiwiAble cards.

OUR WATER

Do you use sea water in your pools?

No, but it is salt water.

Do you use chlorine in your pools?

Our pools are salt-water chlorinated, which means that we add salt to fresh water, and then a process called electrolysis turns the salt into chlorine. 

What are the benefits of soaking in hot water?

Warm salt water is associated with a variety of healing benefits including calming the nervous system, boosting circulation, easing muscular/joint inflammation and reducing general pain.

How do you heat your water?

Our water is heated efficiently and sustainably through ground source heat pump technology. We push underground water (sourced through a bore in the car park next to us) through a heat transfer system which heats the water in our pools.

Can I put my head under the water?

Yes, it is salt water (although it is less salty than the sea).

Can I wear jewellery in the pools?

We recommend that you remove jewellery before soaking. Some jewellery can be tarnished or damaged by salt water (similar to swimming in the sea), and sometimes people lose jewellery in the water. 

OUR FACILITIES

What temperature are the pools?

We have six pools with four different temperature ranges:

  • Relax and Unwind pools – 37–39 degrees Celsius
  • Active and Family pools – 33–36 degrees Celsius
  • Active and Fitness pool – 26–28 degrees Celsius
  • Cold plunge pool – 10–14 degrees Celsius

What temperature are the sauna/steam?

Our steam room (wet sauna) ranges from 40–50 degrees Celsius, and our dry sauna ranges from 60–80 degrees Celsius.

Do you have indoor private pools?

No, all of our pools are outdoor public pools.

Can I hire swimsuits or towels?

We don’t offer hire gear, but we do sell a limited range of towels and swimsuits.

Where do I put my stuff while I’m in the pools?

We have e-lockers that are $3 to use (payment by card/Paywave only) and we have free cubby holes.

Can you look after my valuables at reception?

No, please use the e-lockers for valuables.

What facilities do you have in your changing rooms?

We have showers, toilets, hair dryers and tog/swimsuit spinners.

Do you have family changing rooms?

We have unisex family changing cubicles outside the main changing rooms. These rooms have a shower and a baby change table in them.

What are your rules around the supervision of children?

Children aged 4 years or younger: must have a supervising adult older than 16 years within arm’s reach of them at all times. One supervising adult can be looking after no more than two children aged 4 or younger.

Children aged 5–7 years: must have a supervising adult older than 16 years keeping an eye on them at all times. 

Children aged 8–13 years: must have a supervising adult in the facility at all times.

Is it safe for pregnant people to use the pools?

Check with your health care provider, but in general we recommend that pregnant people avoid or limit time in the hottest pools and sauna/steam rooms to avoid dehydration and overheating.

Can I bring my young baby to the pools?

Yes, as long as they are able to snugly fit into a swim nappy. We recommend that you don’t take young children in the hottest pools to avoid overheating.

Do you sell swim nappies?

Yes, we sell Little Swimmers swim nappies, which generally fit average sized babies from around four months old.

Do you have wheelchair accessible facilities?

We have an accessible changing room, complete with shower, toilet and adult changing table. We do not currently have a hoist available in this room. Three of our pools are accessible to people requiring wheelchair access – we have an aqua wheelchair, one pool ramp, one pool hoist, and one pool pod for pool access.

Can I bring food or drink in to the pools?

You can bring food into the facility, but food cannot be consumed in the actual pools or steam/sauna rooms. We do not allow glass bottles, glass containers, or knives in our facilities.

Why can’t I use the pools if I have a pacemaker or other implanted electronic cardiac device?

This is due to a local underground electrical current having the potential to interfere with these types of cardiac devices, so to reduce the chance of injury we unfortunately are not able to allow people with pacemakers or implanted cardiac devices to use the pools at this time.

Why do I have to sit on a towel in the sauna?

For hygiene reasons and to minimise the amount of time that the sauna needs to close for maintenance to the wooden seating.

What do you suggest I bring with me? 

Bring your swimsuit and a towel. We also recommend that you bring a second towel if you intend to use the sauna, plus a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen if it’s sunny, and jandals or slides if it’s cold.

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