Godley Head, known to Māori as Awaroa is a prominent headland in Christchurch, New Zealand, located at the entrance to Lyttelton Harbour. 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.
Godley Heads is beautiful and well worth exploring but it is a deceptively large walk if you start Taylor’s Mistake.
If you have a look at the Kiwi Guardian Map (in the Adventure notes link below) we did the shorter version starting at the car park close to point number 9 – bottom left hand corner.
We walked from their to just past the guardian post at number 6 then walked back to the car via the road and that took us the best part of 2hrs.
I think if you were to start at Taylor’s Mistake and walk the whole track to where we started at point number 9, it would most definitively take all day just one way.
You would want to have two cars one parked at the start and one at the finish as you would not want to be walking all the way back. The full day walk would be amazing on a great day, I would suggest starting at the top of the hill at number 9 then walking down to Taylor’s Mistake to reward your self with a swim, plus it would be more down hill then up hill. You might not want to do this with young kids – I think even my kids who are experienced walkers would struggle with it, older kids would be fine.
After all that said and done the short part at the top we did was stunning !!! we picked an amazing morning to go for a walk.
We parked up then started walking around the bay checking out the battery observatory on our way past.
The observatory was pretty cool you could tell why they put it where they did, the views were incredible, on a beautiful clear day like today you could see for miles.
Inside their were a lot of information panels about the different buildings and what they were for.
We carried along the coast line taking in the amazing views, we could just imagine how amazing it would be to see a pod of dolphins or even a whale out in the bay.
I could not help but keep one eye on the track and one eye out to sea the whole way.
As you will see by the photos below you are walking along a cliff, even thought the track is wide and pretty well kept the whole way long I would keep young kids at arms length. They would be pretty safe but if they did trip and stumble down hill its a bit of a drop off.
The next observatory we came across was awesome !! it was right at the head of the point looking out to the ocean, on a clear day like we had you could see for miles and miles it was stunning.
The views yet again just wow!!
You then carried on around further to find the Kiwi Guardian post, their was also a cool looking compound that would have been amazing to explore. Unfortunately it was all closed off been fixed up to make it safe again after the earthquakes.
We then carried on through a old camp towards the road and back to where we started.
We took our time doing the walk stopping to take in the views and explore the observatory’s along the way. We spent just under two hours walking around, you could do it in a shorter time but I think its nice to allow time to explore.
If we had more time and it was summer not winter like when we visited, I would make it a day trip exploring more of the area and finishing the day at the beach.
This walk is definitely a must do it you get time and a nice clear day, we loved it and the kids really enjoyed it as well
"the bunkers were awesome!! I could pretend I was in the army." Marcus O'Donnell aged 8
Kiwi Guardian Link
What to Bring
Good walking shoes, and a wind breaker.
Time and Distance
Small loop track we did was approx 2hr, full day if you were to go from Taylor's Mistake
Keep young kids at arms length at all times as the track runs along the cliff top with steep drop offs. Not pram friendly
You are aloud dogs on leads
- No toilets on the track but some in the carpark