Godley Head
PHOTO: Aidan | Creative Commons


The Godley Head WWII coastal defence battery sits atop sheer 120 metre-high cliffs. Built in 1939, it is ranked in the top ten New Zealand coastal defence heritage sites.


The Tunnel Track, some buildings and the gun emplacements are closed due to damage from the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Place overview


  • Camping
  • Walking and tramping

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Awaroa/Godley Head

About track difficulties

Kiwi Guardians programme

Take your family on a Kiwi Guardians adventure. Kiwi Guardians is a free, fun and easy way for 6-10 year olds to get to know this special place - grab a map, go and explore, and earn a reward! More about Kiwi Guardians

Mountain biking

Taylors Mistake to Breeze Col

The section of the Godley Head Walkway from Taylor’s Mistake to Breeze Col on the summit road is dual-purpose, available for walkers and cyclists. For a real thrill return down to Taylors Mistake by the steep “Anaconda” track and experience a series of flowing high speed bermed corners.

Breeze Col loop (Open)

From Breeze Col there is a purpose-built mountain bike track to the Godley Head car-park. A more challenging track returns to Breeze Col on the Lyttelton Harbour side of the summit road. Allow 2 - 3 hours for the round trip.

For more detailed information check out the Christchurch City Council website or pick up a map from the DOC Christchurch Visitor Centre or the nearest i-SITE.

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    About this place

    Nature and conservation

    Awaroa/Godley Head is a fantastic place to be for scenery alone. This exposed headland on top of sheer 120 metre-high cliffs can, on a clear day, provide views across the harbour to Banks Peninsula and far down the coastline.

    The vegetation is largely modified grasslands.

    White-flippered penguin/korora are being returned to a small bay just beyond the baches at Boulder Bay.

    The easy graded tracks, great views and fascinating history makes the Godley Head area suitable for small children and family groups.

    Getting there

    From the centre of town, drive to the coastal suburb of Sumner, then head up the Port Hills via Evans Pass Road. Turn left onto the Summit Road to reach Godley Head car park. The Godley Head car park is about a 50 minute drive from Cathedral Square.

    Public transport is available as far as Sumner. There is no access from Lyttelton.

    Know before you go

    • There are toilets and parking at Godley Head and Taylors Mistake.
    • There are steep, unfenced cliffs - keep children under close supervision at all times.
    • Dogs are allowed on a lead, but they can’t go onto Taylors Mistake beach in summer months.
    • The area is very exposed. Take appropriate clothing for all weathers. 


    Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 3 379 4082
    Address:   Co-located with the Christchurch i-site
    28 Worcester Boulevard
    Christchurch 8140
    Email:   christchurchvc@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
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