What to do in half a day

If you're looking at spending the morning or afternoon in our beautiful port village, there are many wonderful things that will keep you occupied. Because Lyttelton is geographically constrained, everything is within walking distance, however bare in mind, some areas are steep.

First pop by the Lyttelton Harbour Information Centre and pick up a free flyer made especially for cruisers of all the things to see and do in Lyttelton. You'll find this sitting in the trolley outside and it will have a handy map outlining all the areas of interest.

1. Located beside the Information Centre is the site of the historic barracks, marked with a plaque at the entrance to the Baden Norris Reserve (named after the local historian who started the Lyttelton Museum). The immigration barracks were built to house the newly arriving settlers in 1850. With a capacity to house 300 people, they were inundated when the first four ships brought 700 immigrants and tents were erected to deal with additional numbers.

2. Then head through the Baden Norris Reserve onto Sumner road and up to the Lyttelton Timeball. Our Timeball Station is one of the few of its kind left in the world. The original Timeball Station sustained devasting damage during the Canterbury earthquakes but the site still remains significant to New Zealand's history, with a rebuilt tower using the same stonework from the original building. 

3. You can walk either back down Sumner road or along St David's street, for some beautiful views of Lyttelton and some gorgeous Lyttelton cottages until you reach a set of concrete stairs, leading down to Oxford Street. As you descend the stairs, on your left you will see the modern Lyttelton Primary School. This was also the site of the first school in Lyttelton, built in 1875. On the right of the stairs is the site of the towns gaol. To find the preserved remains of the cells from Lyttelton Gaol, walk to the end of the staircase and then continue up Oxford Street. You will walk past the wall of the school grounds, which was once the boundary of the gaol. Just in front of the swimming pool, you turn right up a path, then right again towards the rose garden. Here you will find the cells on the left. The Lyttelton gaol was opened in 1852.

4. Returning to Oxford street, turn left and cross the road into Winchester Street to view a beautiful heritage building, which will be on your left. Number 3 Winchester Street ("Teynham") is a private home, however you can enjoy the beautiful garden and admire the home from the street. The house illustrates the way of life for the colonial settlers to the region. It has been restored following the earthquakes in near original form. 

5. Continue walking down Winchester Street until you get to St Saviours Holy Trinity, a historic site with plenty of stories to tell.


What to do in half a day