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


  • Walking and tramping
Selected DOC place
Other DOC places

In this section

Find things to do Godley Head

About track difficulties

      About this place

      Nature and conservation

      White-flippered penguin. Photo: Rod Morris.
      White-flippered penguins can be seen 
      at a small bay beyond the baches at 
      Boulder Bay

      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.

      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

      • No firearms
      • No dogs, except on leash and only on walkway – take your pooper scooper.
      • There are toilets at Godley Head car park and at Taylors Mistake.


      Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
      Phone:      +64 3 379 4082
      Address:   Botanic Gardens Information Centre
      Christchurch Botanic Gardens
      Armagh Street Carpark
      Christchurch 8013
      Full office details
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