COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Sumner Beach
Holiday Travel Guide

Sumner Beach showing rocky coastline
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.

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

643 Cheap Hotels Near Sumner Beach

Cave Rock Guest House
Cave Rock Guest House
3 out of 5
16 Esplanade, Sumner, Christchurch
Free cancellation
The price is NZ$115 per night from 21 Jun. to 21 Jun.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Christchurch guesthouse is within 9 mi (15 km) of Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch Gondola and Lyttelton Harbour. ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (47 reviews)
"very friendly people and nice surroundings"

Reviewed on 30 May 2021

Cave Rock Guest House
Cliffside Abode With Stunning Ocean Views
Cliffside Abode With Stunning Ocean Views
5 Kinsey Terrace, Christchurch, Canterbury
Situated by the sea, 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 (2 ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Oh the view....!
"We almost did not want to go out the view is so stupendous, with a back up soundtrack that is the sea sweeping in and out. The house is a stunning contemporary design, clean lines and very well appointed. We wished we had booked for longer"

Reviewed on 11 Apr. 2021

Cliffside Abode With Stunning Ocean Views
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
3.5 out of 5
26 Marriner Street, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$158 per night from 20 Jun. to 20 Jun.
Situated near the beach, this aparthotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Sumner Beach.
4.7/5Exceptional! (121 reviews)
"Roger was very helpful before during and after check out.... lovely hosts and great tips and advice"

Reviewed on 21 Apr. 2021

Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
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

Bush Inn Court Motel
Terra Vive Luxury Suites & Apartments
Raceway Motel
Don't see what you're looking for?
See all available trips from Ashburn to Sumner Beach
View all trips

Popular places to visit in Sumner Beach

Sumner Beach

Choose two or more items and save on your trip:

Top Sumner Beach Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Cave Rock Guest House
Cave Rock Guest House
3 out of 5
16 Esplanade, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$115 per night from 21 Jun. to 21 Jun.
Cave Rock Guest House
Cliffside Abode With Stunning Ocean Views
Cliffside Abode With Stunning Ocean Views
5 Kinsey Terrace, Christchurch, Canterbury
Cliffside Abode With Stunning Ocean Views
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
3.5 out of 5
26 Marriner Street, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$158 per night from 20 Jun. to 20 Jun.
Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments
Sumner Re Treat
Sumner Re Treat
4 out of 5
1 Wakefield Avenue, Sumner, Christchurch
The price is NZ$140 per night from 19 Jun. to 19 Jun.
Sumner Re Treat
Le Petit Hotel
Le Petit Hotel
3 out of 5
16 Marriner St Sumner, Christchurch
Le Petit Hotel
Cave Rock Guest House
Cave Rock Guest House
2.5 out of 5
16 Esplanade Sumner, Christchurch, Canterbury
Cave Rock Guest House
Beach Front Apartment With Pool
Beach Front Apartment With Pool
Christchurch, Canterbury
Beach Front Apartment With Pool
Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes
Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes
3.5 out of 5
10 Panorama Road, Christchurch
Panorama - Christchurch Holiday Homes
Sumner Sanctuary by the Sea - There is a House Build Behind you at This Time
Sumner Sanctuary by the Sea - There is a House Build Behind you at This Time
4 Head Street, Christchurch, Canterbury
Sumner Sanctuary by the Sea - There is a House Build Behind you at This Time
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.