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Sumner Half Heads, Canterbury

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Sumner Half HeadsBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Matt Doherty

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Open farmlands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

3.30 (Slow)
2.30 (Moderate)
1.45 (Fast)



Route passes straight through the currently closed Godley Head area, but this section can be easy bypassed without cutting more than a few hundred meters off by going around to the left. If you an update on this please email us.

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Nice wee half marathon loop around Sumner/Godley Heads that manages to stay off the roads. Lots of small undulating hills including a couple of grunty climbs that will be testing for the beginner. Awesome continuos views over the penninsular. If you fancy an early start dawn over the heads can be spectacular.

Head up Captain Thomas Track to the sumit road. Left through the crossroads, over the cattle stop and immediately right onto the mtb trail. Follow this mtb trail over the next 2 hills. When starting this next hill after a few meters on the road you are aiming for the 2nd mtb trail that heads up it (the trail that heads over the hill about half way up between the road and the summit as you are looking from this saddle)

Head up and over the hill and down to Godley Heads car park. From the carpark run through the kissing gate by the picnic tables and follow the gravel tourist trail which undulates its way through old WW2 buildings then out to Boulder Bay & Taylors Mistake Surf Club. From the car park, head along the back of the surf club then follow your nose towards the houses keeping the beach to your right. The track starts to climb with a few steps and board walks for a couple of hundred metres, take the left hand turn sign posted the 195? steps.

At the top of the steps cross the road and pick up the track a few metres to your right. Follow this (staying on the obvious track) up through the farmland aiming for the lefthand side of a patch of trees up the hill. Over the stile, across the gravel road and follow the fence to your right along a stockyard. After a sharp right hand bend take the track to your left marked by a post. Follow this tack as it sidles along the hill and climbs into a patch of bush. At the junction in the bush take the left hand turn to the summit rd crossroads. As you head out of the bush head uphill across the crossroads then pick up Captain Thomas and return to the start.

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Features of interest

World War 2 Building and gun emplacements at Godley Heads

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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  • Access

    Captain Thomas Track in Sumner. From LOWER Sumnervale Drive. Warm up jog from the dead end of the road round the side of the horse field and up the steps to the start of Captain Thomas on the right hand side of the roundabout.

    Sumnervale Drive Lower has plenty of parking along one side where the houses have been removed post quakes
    Bus stop . Purple bus route termination100m from Lower Sumnervale Drive

    14 km

    25 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Generally good.

    Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Water at Godley Heads and Taylers Mistake at toilet blocks and at the campground at aGodley Heads

    Can be very windy on the saddles

    Dog friendly although be aware there are lots of sheep in this area
    Mountain bikes on 50% of the track

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