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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
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      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

      • The easy graded tracks, great views and fascinating history makes the Godley Head area suitable for small children and family groups.
      • There are steep, unfenced cliffs - keep children under close supervision at all times.
      • 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:   Christchurch Botanic Gardens
      7 Rolleston Ave
      Christchurch 8013
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