Lyttelton Harbour Highlights
Stroll down London St
Wander down this Main St and visit some boutique gift shops, unique and quirky cafes, a distinctive book shop and more. At the end of the Street you can stop to admire “Hector” a bronze sled dog statue that celebrates the commitment of Lyttelton to exploration in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Hector symbolises the courage, commitment and comradeship of all those involved in this continuing endeavour. Next to the library you can see the small exhibitions in a container on the site where the Museum will be re-built.
Nooks and Crannies
Take this one to one-and -a half-hour walk hour walk around some of the lesser known parts of Lyttelton. Nooks and Crannies
Head up into the hills behind Lyttelton for magnificent vistas over Whakaraupo/Lyttelton Harbour. This walk takes you through Urumau Reserve which has been the focus of community native tree planting over the past few years. It is a 3.5 hour tramp that includes steep hill climbs and is ideal for the nimble-footed who like scrambling up rocks and narrow cliff paths. Mountain bikers also use some of the tracks in the reserve. Visit the Info Centre for a map of the Urumau Loop circular tramp.
A full description of this walk is in our walks section. Urumau Loop
Te Ana Marina
Head down to the waterfront and enjoy this wonderful new space that provides opportunities to relax on the chunky recycled wharf timber seats and view the boats and activity in the marina. The Woolstore is currently being developed. This is an ideal spot for families with plenty of parking and flat space. There is a footpath that links this area to Norwich Quay and Lyttelton township. Port Walk
Pack a picnic
There are plenty of options for perfect picnic parties nearby to Lyttelton. Corsair Bay and Cass Bay have been popular spots for generations and both have playgrounds, tables and toilets. Pony Point is a scenic reserve west of Cass Bay and has a lovely grassy area surrounded by native plants and stunning views. See our picnic section. Picnic Spots
Catch a ferry across the harbour
The Black Diamond ferry departs from Lyttelton once an hour (at 10 to each hour) and navigates the short 10 minute ride to Diamond Harbour. This is a unique way to experience the harbour and especially exciting for children. On arrival there are a number of options to explore including the coastal track, Stoddart Cottage art gallery and the village cafes. Fishing and swimming off the wharf are also favourite activities. Diamond Harbour Ferry Timetable
Put yourself in the shoes of a pioneer
Walk the Bridle Path which was the foot route across the Port Hills for Canterbury’s first European settlers travelling between Lyttelton and Christchurch. Many horses were ridden or led over the path hence the name Bridle. It was constructed in 1850 and there are memorial seats for pioneers and the first four ships on the walkway. At the top, admire the hexagonal stone shelter that commemorates the pioneer women of Canterbury.
The Timeball Station has returned
After a major restoration effort by Heritage New Zealand this fantastic historic and internationally significant maritime site can now be visited again. The ball again drops from the mast onto its stone tower every day at 1pm. Historically, it signalled time to ships in Lyttelton Harbour to ensure accurate navigation. Timeball
Escape to an island!
A real adventure over the warmer months – visit Quail Island from October to April. The island is named after the now extinct native Quail (koreke) and offers beautiful scenery, great walks, wildlife, ships’ graveyard and glimpses into the past through the information panels. The island has connections with Antarctic and was a quarantine and training area for the sled dogs and ponies of Scott and Shackleton’s expeditions. It also housed New Zealand’s only leprosy quarantine colony. Quail Island
Departs Lyttelton Daily 10.15 and December to March 10.15 and 12.15
Departs Quail Island Daily 12.30 December to March 12.30 and 15.15
Fare goes towards reforestation and maintenance of the island
A Poem and a Place
Take a walk through the streets of Lyttelton and hear the voices of seven local poets reading poems in the places that inspired them. Featuring Ben Brown, Gary McCormick, Dan “Spud” Johnson, Rebecca Nash, Sarah Amazinnia and Andy Coyle. Poetry Walking Tour
Torpedo treasures in tiny museum at Magazine Bay
Head to the Old Powder Magazine Building to visit the Torpedo Boat Museum to see restored sections of the 1885 Lyttelton torpedo boat. As well as the partly re-constructed bow and stern, there is a scale model and an example of a steam engine that once powered it. An informative historical documentary can be viewed. Open Sundays 1-3pm. Small admission fee. Torpedo Museum
Flat foreshore walk with bikes, buggies and dogs
You will need a taxi or a car to drive to Governors Bay
Enjoy spectacular views up harbour and out to the heads from sea level. Wander the 2kms from Allandale Reserve to Governors Bay jetty. Pop up to the Main Rd and enjoy refreshments Governors Bay Hotel before taking the gentle stroll back again. This road was first constructed in 1857 by the prisoners of Lyttelton Prison (1851-1922). Initially it was a bridle way only, later widened for the coach service that began in the early 1880s. Allandale
Discover Orton Bradley Park
You will need a taxi or a car to go here.
This is an absolute gem within the harbour basin. 650ha of park including picnic areas, original farm buildings and machinery, many walking/tramping options, an exciting adventure playground with flying foxes and a stream for children to explore, an acclaimed rhododendron garden and a cafe over the summer months. Perfect for gatherings with family and friends. Camping is available through January and self contained campers/caravans all year. No dogs allowed. Orton Bradley