Godley Head Walkway

Godley Head Walkway

Port Hills

77%

Details

6 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

63 Christchurch

Maps

Photos

Godley Head - Christchurch

Information

8 km return | 3 hours return

This is the pick of urban Christchurch walks. WW2 defences on a headland with extensive coastal views.

Timing

Some of the military infrastructure is currently closed due to earthquake damage.

Access

From Christchurch City Centre follow signs through Sumner to Taylors Mistake. It gets quite narrow in places. Access is also from Summit Road, reached from Dyers Pass Road.

Track

The Coastal Track (Pilgrims Way) skirts the beach at Taylors Mistake passing some funky old style kiwi baches.

The well-formed track then winds above the sea kelp fringed rocky coast, skirting the northern jaw at the entrance to Lyttelton Harbour.

It's around 1 hour 30 minutes to the gun emplacements and other sundry military buildings, then 15 minutes further to Summit Road.

Descend via the Summit Track (to Breeze Col and trig for the best views) then after the shared mountain bike track (Anaconda Track).

There is no shade on this walk and it gets quite breezy.

Polynesian History

Waitaha and then Ngai Tahu were present in the area. They named Lyttelton Harbour ‘Awaroa’ and the area behind the head Mahoenui, a reference to the mahoe trees growing there.

European History

The significant military remains of Godley Head are administered by a trust - a keen bunch of volunteers with a passion for maintaining the coastal defences.

In 1878, New Zealand became paranoid about the Russians. Governor Jervois, a military engineer in a previous career, bought 22 Rifle Muzzle Loading guns for installation around the coastline. Although none were installed at Godley Head, the idea was mooted. It wasn’t until 1937 approval was finally given for the construction of gun emplacements.

A 60 pounder battery was installed first, shortly after the outbreak of WW2. The Taylor Battery and Godley Battery, with associated magazines, followed. With the threat of Japanese invasion more real, anti-tank and infantry defences joined the ranks. Nearly 3000 personnel were barracked at the Godley Head Fortress area. As the threat receded, the guns were kept on standby but never used. Their value as a deterrent however, protected New Zealand waters from German or Japanese attention.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

South IslandCanterburyChristchurch

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Contact

Reviews

Steffen's avatar

Steffen

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Breathtaking landscape. Wide open.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 79 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Nicola's avatar

Nicola

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Nice view, less people.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Dylan Scott's avatar

Dylan Scott

Australia

Ranking: 7/10

Mellow walk leading to cool ANZAC war relics.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Avoid Camping Fines!

Each camping location is approved by a regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Wayne Forrow's avatar

Wayne Forrow

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Medium condition track, great scenery and history along the way with sheep to chase.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

CraigB's avatar

CraigB

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Interesting view of days gone by but little in the way of restoration.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago and experienced in March 2009

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner