About Sumner

Accommodation In Sumner

Sumner, the premier seaside suburb of Christchurch, is a small village, however there is much to do here. You can relax at one of the many cafés and restaurants in the village, just minutes from the Abbott House B&B / apartment. You can walk, run, cycle along the beach, or escape the houses within a few minutes of your accommodation by heading into the hills for stunning views. You can often see the Kaikoura mountains 150km away. You can surf, canoe, paddle or swim in the sea. In summer, there are manned surf-lifesaving areas on the far side of Cave Rock and at Taylor’s Mistake.


Surf Webcams

To check what the surf and weather are doing look at the views from:


Here is a selection of some of the shops in Sumner. All shops are in the main shopping area.

Name Type Our Comments Hours Phone
Hollywood Cinema The cinema has three screens, two with luxury corporate seating areas. It often gets new releases at the same time as the bigger cinemas in town.
The program is always in the Christchurch Press.
28 Marriner St.03 326 6102
Sumner Supervalue Supermarket It’s big enough to have nearly everything, but small enough to only take a few minutes to do the shopping.  And it’s here in Sumner!! The closest big (and cheaper) supermarkets are over 10km away (post-quakes). Mon-Sun  7am-8pm Sumner Village Mall.03 326 5688
Sumner Screen for Movies Video Shop Relax…. Curl up and watch a video. Sun-Thurs  11am-9pmFri-Sat  11am-9:30pm 1 Sumner Village Mall.03 326 5858
Sumner Pharmacy Chemist Note that if you need assistance out of hours, try Eastgate in Linwood if it is open, or 24-hour surgery in town on the corner of Colombo St and Bealey Ave (ph 03 365 7777). Mon-Fri  9am-5:30pm prompt 42 Marriner St.03 326 6154
L’Estrange Art Art Art Gallery & Studio. 53 Nayland St.03 326 6057
Au Moana Surf gear Surf gear and clothing. Surf board rental. Mon-Fri 11am to 5pm.Sat-Sun 10am to 4pm 9 Wakefield Avenue.03 326 74 44
Urban Surf Surf gear Surf gear and clothing. Surf board rental. Mon–Fri 10am – 6pm
Sat-Sun 10am – 5pm
25d Marriner St.03 326 6023
Learn to Surf



Surf Coaching and Surfboard Hire Aaron Lock is one of New Zealand’s most experienced Surfing and Bodyboarding instructors. He can often be found on the Esplanade near the corner with Stoke Street.Best to phone beforehand to arrange lessons, or walk down to the beach and look for Aaron’s clearly branded van. Daylight hours – whenever there’s surf! 0800 80 SURF



The local Christchurch City Council, CCC, have a map of local walks here.

Here is a very small selection of local Christchurch walks – updated since the earthquakes of 2010-12.
Please obey all signs – the hills can be dangerous.  Many rocks have fallen.

We own a bach (NZ term for a holiday home) at Boulder Bay, one hour’s scenic clifftop walk from our B&B.  You can find out more about the baches here.  You can drive to Taylor’s Mistake and walk from there if you don’t want such a long walk…

New Zealand is an island, subject to rapid and unpredicted weather changes. Please dress sensibly, and let someone close to your accommodation know where you are going and when you are likely to return. In summer, sun-block is essential.  In winter take warm wind-proof clothing.

All times are estimates only, and reflect our personal experience of a couple in their 50’s walking together at a comfortable pace.
Please ask us for more ideas – there are hundreds of walks in the area many begin just minutes from Abbott House B&B.

Abbott House to Taylor’s Mistake (120 mins return).  Some parts of the track are closed.

Overview: Spectacular views over Sumner and Christchurch. If the surf is up, watch the surfers in the gentler surf of Sumner, or wilder surf of Taylor’s Mistake. At Taylor’s Mistake see the unique baches, built over the years as personal holiday homes. Uniquely in New Zealand, a few of the homes are built into the caves along the cliffs.
Fitness: Total climbing of around 300m (up and down).
Usual Directions: Walk to the beach. Turn right. Follow the shore line until just before the boat slipway, then follow the cliff path to the first hairpin in the road, instead of walking up Whitewash Head Rd, do a u-turn and follow the main road for another 30m and take Flowers Track to the top of Nicholson Park.  Follow the road down.  At  approximately no. 119 the track to the cliff edge and off-road track should be open.  If not you can follow the road all the way down.

Taylor’s Mistake to Boulder Bay (60 mins return).  A fabulous wide and well-graded new track opened in February 2013.

Overview: A gentle undulating track along the cliff tops. Boulder Bay has a handful of baches (small basic holiday houses). A beautiful spot to take a picnic and sit in peace for a while.
Fitness: Total climbing of around 100m (up and down).
Directions: Go to the end of Taylor’s Mistake beach furthest from Christchurch. Follow the cliff line. When you can see the houses in Boulder Bay, follow the main track inland until you reach a gate. Follow the path down to the water.



The quakes of 2010-12 have significantly impacted cycling in the area with many tracks closed due to risk of rockfall.
The roads are rough – bumpy with far too many potholes and shingle on the road.
The cycling is now more challenging but is still rewarding in terms of scenery and effort!
Check with Max or Liz first as track and road status are constantly changing. 

Pre-quakes Sumner catered for both road cyclists and mountain bikers, and the options can be linked together. You can disappear for hours should you want to, or you run out of energy.   Ask Chris for more details, but a quick summary must mention:

  • OPEN Single-trail mountain bike trail from the top of Evans Pass all the way to Godley Head, with the option of returning the same route and ending up with a short fast fun 250m plus descent on the road, or you can divert off-road for the tricky Anaconda downhill (CLOSED) to Taylor’s Mistake, with a sharp climb out just when you are really feeling tired. (Allow 1 – 2 hours or even more).
  • Road or mountain bike along the Summit Rd – many climbs but just as many downhills. In many places there is an off-road option just below the road.  As at 4 November 2012, the Summit Rd is only open for the short section from the summit of Evans Pass to the top of Mt. Pleasant Rd.
  • “Short Bays” road route – Sumner, stay on Christchurch side of hills round to Dyers Pass and then go up and over Dyers Pass, through Governors Bay, round to Lyttelton and back to Sumner (1.5 hrs for a very fit cyclist).  The Sumner road between Lyttelton and the summit of Evans Pass is expected to be closed for some years. You can either bike back the long way, or take the no.3 bus through the tunnel, after which it is about a 15-minute bike ride back to Abbott House.
  • “Long Bays” road route – Sumner, stay on Christchurch side of hills round to Gebbies Pass (the Old Tai Tapu Road is quieter than the main road) and then go up and over Gebbies Pass, round to Governors Bay, on to Lyttelton and back to Sumner (2.5 hrs for a very fit cyclist).  As above, the Sumner road between Lyttelton and the summit of Evans Pass is expected to be closed for some years.

Golf Courses

GolfThere are over 20 Christchurch golf courses within an hour’s drive, ranging from my favourite, the pretty 12-hole Charteris Bay course ($20 green fees, phone 03 3294799) to the relatively new championship Clearwater Resort ($55-175 green fees). For a list of contact details for Canterbury courses see the NZ Golf Courses site.


SkiingThere are at least eight ski-fields within two (and a bit) hours’ travel from Abbott House B&B and apartment accommodation. Check out the latest conditions at the Snowco site. Max and Liz are both keen skiers and happy to advise on the best fields.

“Christchurch apartment accommodation with a stunning seaside setting.”