Updated 20 Dec 2020

Sumner is a seaside suburb of Christchurch, situated about 12 km’s north east of the cities centre, Cathedral square. The pacific ocean laps at the front door of the village which occupies a small valley at the foot of the port hills. The main road travels through the village on its way to the port of Lyttelton via Evans Pass.  You can also access the summit road from Evans Pass, and either travel to Godley head and return, or take a right turn, and travel along to the saddle below the gondola.  Cars have to turn around here, and head back, either to Sumner, or down Mt Pleasant road to Ferrymead, but bikes and walkers can continue, either along the crater rim walkway, or along the road.

There is a lovely esplanade to walk along from Cave rock to the cliffs at Scarborough and an excellent beach popular with surfers, stand up paddle boarders and kayakers – although the water is often on the cool side for swimming. (Sumner beach has a surf lifesaving patrol in the summer so is a better swimming option)  For the energetic there is a cliff top walk that starts at Oceanfare Café, which squats below the clock tower. There is a childrens playground behind the cafe, and a paddling pool on the cliff side of the restaurant. The walk heads toward the Sumner lifeboat shed, and follows the road toward Taylor’s Mistake (he was a captain who didn’t read his chart properly and ended up in Taylor’s rather than Lyttelton harbour, the next entrance to the east).  The actual cliff track disappeared during the February 2011 earthquake, so you have to follow flowers track to Nicholson park, and then cross over the road and take an obvious track down to the cliff top, turn right to follow the track to Taylors Mistake.  From Taylors there is a great walk out to Godley head, on a newly redeveloped track.

For those keen on Mt Biking, there is an excellent track that starts at Evans Pass, and travels out to Godley head or the other way up Greenwood Park toward the Gun emplacements below Mt Pleasant.  There are also some rewarding walks at the heads, many of which explore the old gun emplacements. If you take the track to the east you can walk down to the old observation buildings at sea level via a short tunnel cut through the cliff (Post Earthquake: This track is closed).  You can also walk down to Boulder Bay, and then back to Taylor’s Mistake above the cliffs.


  • Oceanfare Café, Scarborough – at the Scarborough end of the Esplanade (by the clock tower) 03 3267923
  • Coffee Culture 28 Marriner Street, 03 326 5900
  • Dot com 42 Marriner Street,  03 326-4000
  • Joe’s Garage 19 Marriner Street, 03 962 2233
  • Sunshine Corner Cafe 25 Marriner Street, 03 3267111
  • Blackbird Cafe, 22 A Esplanade. Recently reopened, under new management. Live music Sundays. Worth making a destination after a bracing walk on the Esplanade. 326-5358
  • Beach Bar, Beach side of the Esplanade
  • Cloud Cafe /Bar/ Korean brasserie – 26a Marriner St, Sumner (03) 326-4774

Restaurants and Bars


  • Red Snapper fish and chip shop 25 Wakefield Avenue 03 3265726
  • Burger Stop, beside Cornershop Bistro on Nayland street.
  • Sushi Hana, 38 Nayland Street (03) 3263266

Note: Tragically for pizza lovers, neither the Ruptured Duck or the Club Bazaar pizzeria’s survived the earthquakes. But there is a new Pizza place called  Fire and Slice Woodfired Pizza at 7 Wakefield Ave.  Ph 03-260 0176


Movie Theatre

Hollywood Movie Theatre

Camp Ground

There is a Department of Conservation Campsite out at Godley head. Get to it via the Sumner-Lyttelton road, turning left at Evans Pass.

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