Q) Is there walk-off access from the cruise ships?
A) Unfortunately for the majority of vessels, no. Instead each cruise company has organised two forms of transport off the wharf depending on the destination passengers wish to visit; a free shuttle service to Lyttelton or a ticketed shuttle into Christchurch. These will be located right beside your ship and will be organised through the cruise company, and so any queries regarding the fare to take the Christchurch shuttle will need to be directed to the cruise company.
Q) Is there a tourist information centre at the harbour?
A) There certainly is. The Lyttelton Harbour Information Centre is at 20 Oxford Street and is the last stop on the Lyttelton shuttle. There is currently no information centre in Christchurch, however there will be people stationed at key points around the city to answer all cruisers questions. Please keep in mind that Lyttelton is a fantastic place to stop off and have a wander. You will get great views of the cruise ship in port from our streets as well as an opportunity for a little self-guided tour of the colonial history Lyttelton is well-known for. For more information on these walks, please come and visit us at the Information Centre.
Q) Are there your operators at the harbour selling tours?
A) There will not be operators selling tours at the Information Centre. Please pre-book your tours.
Q) Is there a public bus service from Lyttelton to Christchurch?
A) There is a public bus service from Lyttelton to Christchurch. The number 28 will take you to the city for NZD2.10 (price valid until the end of January 2023) and you can use the same ticket for as many transfers as you wish within a two hour period. You'll find the timetable here.
Q) Does the #28 Lyttelton bus that departs near the Information Centre and goes into Christchurch stop at the Christchurch Gondola from there? Is it possible to return to Lyttelton via bus from the same bus stop?
A) Absolutely correct. The #28 bus is the Lyttelton bus that departs from Norwich Quay, a very short walk from the Information Centre. The first stop after it goes through the Lyttelton Tunnel is the Christchurch Gondola, which it stops at after the Gondola has opened (10am). It makes it nice and easy for visitors to visit the Gondola from Lyttelton. If you are physically active and fit, you can walk one of the many tracks, the most popular being the Bridle Path, which descends steeply into Lyttelton. Alternatively you can go to the same bus stop that the bus dropped you off at, to get back to Lyttelton. Just make sure that it's heading towards Lyttelton and not to the city.
Q) Is the Lyttelton Timeball Station accessible by walking? How difficult is the walk, how far, and is there a taxi?
A) The Lyttelton Timeball station is a 10 minute walk 650 metres away from Information Centre. It is a shjort walk uphill, and it is mostly on the footpath, apart for the final section where the footpath ends. They have recently installed a telescope up there and the views are gorgeous. You'll have a stunning view of your vessel and of the port as well as hearing some great birdsong also. Timeball
Q) We've been to Christchurch before and want to explore Lyttelton harbour. What can I do for half a day?
A) Start by hiring a taxi for half the day. We highly recommend a visit to Ohinetahi house and gardens. Ohietahi It's absolutely beautiful, located just out of Governors Bay. A great place for a picnic lunch with gorgeous views up the harbour and just a short 15 minute drive away.
You could continue around the harbour to Diamond Harbour, a settlement directly opposite Lyttelton and stop at the historic Stoddart Cottage From Diamond Harbour you can get the 10 minute ferry ride across the harbour back to Lyttelton or return to your taxi and enjoy the 30 minute drive around the head of our harbour back to Lyttelton.
Q) Is a trip to Quail Island advisable? How frequently does the ferry run?
A) Highly advisable. Particularly if you stop at the local bakery or one of our cafe's and grab some lunch to take with you for an impromptu picnic. The ferry departs Lyttelton at 10.15am and 12.15pm daily between December and March. They depart Quail Island at 12.30pm and 3.30pm. We highly recommend pre-booking a ticket Quail Island.