Godley Head defence site

Image: Shellie Evans | ©


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 is 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 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.

History and culture

Visit historic sites:

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.

The area can be accessed from Lyttelton via Tapuwaeharuru/Evans Pass and the Summit Road to Godley Head.

The Summit Road to Godley Head is sealed but narrow, with sharp corners and steep drops. The road is also popular with cyclists so take care.

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. 

All drone use must be authorised by DOC

A concession is required to fly a drone on any public conservation land.


Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 379 4082
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   christchurchvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   28 Worcester Boulevard
Christchurch 8013
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11089
Christchurch 8013
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