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Sumner Beach
Holiday Travel Guide

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.

Top activities in Sumner Beach

653 Cheap Hotels Near Sumner Beach

Cliffside Abode with Stunning Ocean Views
Cliffside Abode with Stunning Ocean Views
5 Kinsey Terrace, Christchurch, Canterbury
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Situated on the waterfront, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Avon Heathcote Estuary and Sumner Beach. Cave Rock and Shag Rock are also within 1 mile ...

Cliffside Abode with Stunning Ocean Views
Cave Rock Guest House
Cave Rock Guest House
3 out of 5
16 Esplanade, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$120 per night from 2 Mar. to 3 Mar.

Offering direct access to the beach, this Christchurch guesthouse is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ferrymead Heritage Park, Lyttelton Harbour and Christchurch Gondola. ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (45 reviews)

"Great place to stay, ideal location for us. Very friendly owners"…"

Reviewed on 1 Feb. 2021

Cave Rock Guest House
Le Petit Hotel
Le Petit Hotel
3 out of 5
16 Marriner St Sumner, Christchurch
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Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cave Rock and Sumner Beach. Shag Rock and Avon Heathcote Estuary are also within 15 ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (143 reviews)

"Friendly hosts and the breakfast croissants are delicious. The rooms are charming and quiet while being centrally located in the hip seaside village if Sumner."…"

Reviewed on 8 Sep. 2020

Le Petit Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Sumner Beach Flight & Hotel Packages

Quest Christchurch Serviced Apartments
City Centre Motel
Bella Vista Motel and Apartments Christchurch
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Reviews of Sumner Beach

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
135
5 - Excellent 49.63235294117647%
4 - Good
113
4 - Good 41.544117647058826%
3 - Okay
19
3 - Okay 6.985294117647059%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 1.4705882352941178%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.36764705882352944%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

9 Dec. 2019

Nice restaurant called Klink

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

21 Nov. 2019

had a great wander along the beach then a yummy lunch at the Sunshine Corner cafe

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

25 Aug. 2019

Lovely area!

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

12 Aug. 2019

So sad to see the devastation from the earthquakes still obvious after 10 years. Christchurch Council you need to get your act together and settle insurance claims and get the city back on its feet

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Feb. 2019

Akaroa swimming with the Hector Dolphins - fabulous trip

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

11 Feb. 2019

Huge beach with a long walk before one reaches the water. Not all free roaming dogs behave well and on a windy day one is covered with sand.

Popular places to visit in Sumner Beach

Sumner Beach

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Top Sumner Beach Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Cliffside Abode with Stunning Ocean Views
Cliffside Abode with Stunning Ocean Views
5 Kinsey Terrace, Christchurch, Canterbury
Cliffside Abode with Stunning Ocean Views
Cave Rock Guest House
Cave Rock Guest House
3 out of 5
16 Esplanade, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$120 per night from 2 Mar. to 3 Mar.
Cave Rock Guest House
Le Petit Hotel
Le Petit Hotel
3 out of 5
16 Marriner St Sumner, Christchurch
Le Petit Hotel
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
3.5 out of 5
26 Marriner Street, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$159 per night from 1 Apr. to 2 Apr.
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes
Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes
3.5 out of 5
10 Panorama Road, Christchurch
Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes
Stunning House in Sumner
Stunning House in Sumner
10B Panorama Rd, Christchurch, Canterbury
Stunning House in Sumner
Sumner Re Treat
Sumner Re Treat
4 out of 5
1 Wakefield Avenue, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$140 per night from 4 Mar. to 5 Mar.
Sumner Re Treat
Beach Front Apartment with  pool
Beach Front Apartment with pool
Christchurch, Canterbury
Beach Front Apartment with pool
Beach House on Beachville
Beach House on Beachville
3 Beachville Rd, 3, Christchurch, Canterbury
Beach House on Beachville
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.