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Sumner Beach

The main beach in the seaside retreat of Sumner is an idyllic place to spend a day in the sun away from the centre of Christchurch.

Lie on the soft, warm sand and work on your tan or swim in the shallow waters at gorgeous Sumner Beach. Explore the iconic Cave Rock or unwind with a drink at one of the bars that overlook the ocean when you visit Christchurch’s favourite weekend destination.

Officially the first beach of the stunning Banks Peninsula, Sumner Beach is a 400-metre (1,300-foot) stretch of white sand that offers everything you need for a classic Kiwi day at the seaside. While Scarborough to the east is better suited to surfing, the town beach is the best place around to enjoy some sunshine with a range of amenities close by. Head west along the beach towards the estuary and you can even find a secluded patch of sand all to yourself.

Back at the far eastern side of the beach, the imposing Cave Rock is not to be missed. Christened “Tuawera” by the Maori people, this chunk of rugged lava is said to represent the body of a whale that washed up on the beach many years ago. Discover the nooks and crannies of this huge black rock before you climb to the summit to admire pristine views along the coast.

If you get hungry, make your way along the esplanade that runs the length of Sumner and Scarborough Beach. Tuck into fantastic food at one of the cafés lining the shore or enjoy a refreshing beer at one of the nearby bars. Head farther into the village and you will discover a strong local community, with interesting shops and excellent restaurants.

Sumner is located a 20-minute drive east of Christchurch. The beach has lifeguards between November and March but caution is advised when swimming on the western side of the beach as there is often a strong current from Avon Heathcote Estuary.


Guide to Exploring Sumner Beach


Map

Top Sumner Beach Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 606 properties near Sumner Beach
Le Petit Hotel NZ$149
Le Petit Hotel

Le Petit Hotel

16 Marriner St Sumner, Christchurch
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of New Brighton Beach and Sumner Beach. Cave Rock and Shag Rock are also within 10 minutes.

    Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments NZ$158
    Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments

    Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments

    26 Marriner Street, Sumner, Christchurch
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated near the beach, this aparthotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Sumner Beach.

      Cave Rock Guest House NZ$120
      Cave Rock Guest House

      Cave Rock Guest House

      16 Esplanade, Sumner, Christchurch
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Offering direct access to the beach, this Christchurch guesthouse is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ferrymead Heritage Park, Lyttelton Harbour and Christchurch Gondola. Canterbury Museum and Christchurch Art Gallery are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Sumner Re Treat NZ$140
        Sumner Re Treat

        Sumner Re Treat

        1 Wakefield Avenue, Sumner, Christchurch
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated on the waterfront, this spa aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sumner Beach and Cave Rock. Shag Rock is 0.6 mi (1 km) away.

          Stunning House in Sumner
          Stunning House in Sumner

          Stunning House in Sumner

          10B Panorama Rd, Christchurch, Canterbury
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the beach in Christchurch, this holiday home is close to Sumner Beach, Shag Rock and Cave Rock. Local attractions also include Christchurch Gondola and Taylor's Mistake Beach.

            Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes
            Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes

            Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes

            10 Panorama Road, Christchurch
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Christchurch, this holiday home is close to Sumner Beach, Shag Rock and Cave Rock. Local attractions also include Christchurch Gondola and Taylor's Mistake Beach.

              Gorgeous Garden 2 Mins From Beach
              Gorgeous Garden 2 Mins From Beach

              Gorgeous Garden 2 Mins From Beach

              24 Richmond Hill Rd, Christchurch, Canterbury
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Christchurch, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cave Rock and Sumner Beach. New Brighton Beach and Shag Rock are also within 15 minutes.

                City Seaside Getaway for Families or Groups Base Rate is for 4 Persons
                City Seaside Getaway for Families or Groups Base Rate is for 4 Persons

                City Seaside Getaway for Families or Groups Base Rate is for 4 Persons

                149 Clifton Terrace, Christchurch, Canterbury
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Christchurch, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cave Rock and Sumner Beach. Shag Rock and New Brighton Beach are also within 1 mile (2 km).