Best Sunset Spots in Christchurch

The Top 13 Christchurch Sunset Spots – Insta-worthy, We Promise!

We’ve spent countless evenings scouring online forums and tourist brochures, determined to find the perfect spot to witness the city of Christchurch bathed in golden light. 

Our initial attempts, however, led us to crowded beaches with obstructed views and underwhelming parks. Not exactly perfect for your IG feed.

Disheartened but not defeated, we set out on a mission to unearth all the best spots in the city for an unforgettable sunset experience. And by dint of sheer bullheadedness, we eventually ended up finding all the best spots! 

So here are our top picks of the best spots in and near Christchurch to enjoy a breathtaking sunset. No doubt you’ll appreciate these views as much as we did.

1. Akaroa Lighthouse

Address: 145 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand

Perched atop the Banks Peninsula, the Akaroa Lighthouse boasts breathtaking views. 

You’ll get a clear shot of the sun setting over the ocean, casting long shadows across the volcanic landscape. It’s a scene straight out of a postcard, but trust us, it’s even better in person.

And the walk to the lighthouse is a breeze, along a well-maintained path. There is no need for any serious hiking gear, just comfortable shoes.

Pro Tip: Look out for the little blue penguins! These adorable creatures come ashore after dark, so if you’re patient and quiet, you might just catch a glimpse of them waddling on the beach.

2. Gibraltar Rock

Address: Summit Road, Tai Tapu 7672, New Zealand

Hours: Open 24 hours

Gibraltar Rock is all about the panorama. 

Hike or drive up (there’s a car park at the top), and you’re presented with a sprawling vista of Christchurch city, Lyttelton Harbour, the Banks Peninsula, and even a peek of the Southern Alps on a clear day. 

The grassy slopes are perfect for spreading out a picnic blanket, grabbing some snacks and drinks, and chilling as you watch the city lights twinkle one by one. It’s a great spot for a romantic date or even just some solo time to unwind.

Pro Tip: This spot is a prime location for stargazing. With minimal light pollution, you can get a clear view of the Milky Way and spot constellations you might not be able to see back home.

3. Cashmere Hill Lookout

Address: 178 Hackthorne Road, Cashmere, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand


  • Monday to Saturday – 6 AM to 9 PM
  • Sunday – 7 AM to 8 PM

Cashmere Hill Lookout reigns supreme for catching those golden rays dip below the horizon. 

You get a breathtaking 360-degree vista that showcases Christchurch sprawling out beneath you, the Canterbury Plains stretching to the distance, and the Southern Alps painting a dramatic backdrop.

The beauty of Cashmere Hill Lookout, too, is its accessibility. You can drive right up and enjoy the view from your car, perfect for those evenings when you just want to relax and soak it in. 

But if you’re feeling energetic, there are walking tracks that lead up the hill, offering a chance to work up a sweat and appreciate the view even more.

Pro Tip: Cashmere Hill Lookout is the perfect spot for a romantic sunset picnic. Pack some cheese, crackers, and a bottle of wine (if you’re of age, of course!) and spread out a blanket to enjoy the show.

4. Coopers Knob

Address: Summit Road, Tai Tapu 7672, New Zealand

Coopers Knob isn’t just another pretty lookout. As the highest point in the Port Hills, Coopers Knob offers a jaw-dropping 360° panorama. 

You’ll see the city sprawl out beneath you, the Lyttelton Harbour shimmer in the golden light, and the Southern Alps blushing pink in the distance. It’s like having a front-row seat to nature’s masterpiece.

And don’t be fooled by the epic views—reaching the top is a breeze. The hike from Summit Road is a moderate loop that takes most people between 30 to 40 minutes. 

Perfect for stretching your legs and building up an appetite for the light show ahead.

Pro Tip: Arrive a little before sunset to witness the golden hour. The entire landscape bathes in a warm, magical glow, making for some truly unforgettable photo ops.

5. Mount Vernon

Address: Hillsborough, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand

Hours: Open 24 hours

Okay, so Mount Vernon might not be the most well-known spot, but it’s pretty peaceful to watch the sunset here. You’ll have unobstructed panoramic views across the city—no trees or buildings getting in that Instagram panorama. 

And since Mount Vernon is a residential area, it’s generally less crowded. So obviously, you should come check out the views from here.

Pro Tip: Mount Vernon is easily accessible by car. There’s also a walking track that leads up to the hill, offering a chance to get some exercise while enjoying the scenery.

6. Mount Pleasant


Mount Pleasant snags the gold medal for viewing spots. Hike up Mount Pleasant, and the whole city sprawls out beneath you. The Canterbury Plains stretch out forever, and Lyttelton Harbour glitters in the distance.

The walk up Mount Pleasant is a great way to stretch your legs and burn off some steam before the light show. It’s a moderately easy track, so it’s perfect for a casual stroll or a more energetic power hike. Reach the top, catch your breath, and then be wowed by the view.

Pro Tip: If you want to be extra bougie, make sure to plan out any cute selfie poses beforehand so you don’t miss the perfect sunset backdrop.

7. Witch Hill

Address: Summit Road, Hillsborough, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand

Hours: Open 24 hours

Witch Hill has awesome views of the city sprawling out beneath you. It’s the perfect spot to take in all of Christchurch bathed in that golden hue. (No, it’s not a filter.)

You’ll see the Port Hills, the Avon River winding its way through the city, and the Southern Alps blushing pink in the distance. Trust us, it’s breathtaking!

Pro Tip: Once the sun has set, stick around for another treat—the city lights start twinkling on, and the night sky comes alive with stars. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Milky Way.

8. John Britten Reserve

Address: Mount Pleasant, Christchurch 8081, New Zealand

Hours: Open 24 hours

John Britten Reserve is a must-visit on your Christchurch sunset itinerary. John Britten Reserve treats you to a clear view of the Avon River winding its way through the city, the Southern Alps blushing pink in the distance, and the urban landscape.

And the beauty doesn’t end with the sunset. As darkness creeps in, the city lights come to life, making it a fantastic spot for some night photography.

Pro Tip: Spread out a blanket on the grassy slopes and unwind with a good book as you watch the sunset.

9. Godley Head


Godley Head cranks the scenery dial to eleven. Rugged cliffs, the vast Pacific Ocean stretching out forever, and the sun sinking below the horizon, painting the sky in fiery hues. It’s a masterpiece in real life.

Unlike some dramatic landscapes that require a Herculean effort to reach, Godley Head is pretty accessible. 

The Godley Head Walkway has a leisurely path with stunning views the whole way. Perfect for soaking up the sunset vibes without breaking a sweat.

Pro Tip: Godley Head is steeped in history. Explore the old tunnels and bunkers, remnants of a bygone military era, while you wait for the sunset.

10. Bridle Path

Bridle Path 

Address: Bridle Path Road, Heathcote Valley, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand

Hours: Open 24 hours

The Bridle Path has a clear, elevated view of the city and the Canterbury Plains. You’ll see the Southern Alps blushing pink in the distance, making for a truly breathtaking vista. Honestly, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day.

Pro Tip: If you’re feeling adventurous (and have some horseback riding experience), you can explore the Bridle Path on a trusty steed. 

11. Sign of the Bellbird

Address: Summit Road, Kennedys Bush, Christchurch 7672, New Zealand

Phone: +64800800484

If you’re looking for a front-row seat to a fiery farewell to the day, look no further than the Sign of the Bellbird. The Sign of the Bellbird has sweeping views across the city and Lyttelton Harbour and it itself is a piece of Christchurch history.

And unlike some lookout points that can get crowded, the Sign of the Bellbird offers a more tranquil experience. 

Pro Tip: It’s quite a hike up to a good viewing point so bring some water with you!

12. Sugarloaf Scenic Reserve

Address: Summit Road, Cashmere, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 7 AM to 8 PM

Sugarloaf offers jaw-dropping views of Christchurch, Pegasus Bay, and the Canterbury Plains. 

And getting to Sugarloaf is a breeze. There’s a convenient car park right at the summit, so you can drive up and enjoy the view without any strenuous hikes.

Pro Tip: If you’re using a Polaroid camera to catch a shot of the sunset, you want to be quick. Once the sun goes down, you’ll miss your chance to catch those pretty colours in the sky.

13. New Brighton Beach


First and foremost, New Brighton Beach faces west. This prime position means you get unobstructed views of the sun dipping right into the horizon.

And the pier extends your view even further, making the sunset feel even more dramatic.

Pro Tip: Come before sunset and catch a few waves.