The village is a bustling, friendly place at the mouth of the Lyttelton Harbour (originally called ‘Cook’s Mistake’). You can look across the bay to the Banks Peninsula , while Quail Island sits right in the middle of the harbour (once a leper colony, the island makes for a great day trip and there are regular ferry services that dock there.)
You can also take a ferry over to Diamond Harbour on the Banks Peninsula . See the Kidz Go walks and parks around Christchurch section on Kidz Go New Zealand for more on this trip.
If you’ve transport, it’s well worth the drive to follow the road around the Bays. There are lots of great swimming spots, playgrounds and easy walks along the way (check out Corsair, Rapaki, Cass Bay and Governors Bay for a family picnic and swim). NOTE: The harbour bays make ideal swimming spots for families with younger children as the water is generally flat.
Diamond Harbour, Banks Peninsula, makes a great half day or day trip - take the family and some fishing rods, swim in the gorgeous bay, have a picnic, walk or bbq, or enjoy a pub lunch (with lots of space for kids to play) at Godley House. Ferries depart Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour throughout the day, half hourly or hourly, 7 days a week. Booking isn't required and the crossing takes around 8 minutes.
Quail Island Recreation Reserve
Spend a half-day exploring Quail Island, right in the middle of Lyttelton Harbour. The island was used as a leprosy colony and a quarantine station by the early European settlers. With secluded inlets, safe swimming beaches and lovely walks and picnic areas, why not take your lunch and swimming costumes for a great family day out?
If you walk round to the far (west) side of the island you'll look down on the eight ship wrecks that are partly submerged there. Toilets and changing rooms on the island. Black Cat run regular departures throughout the summer - ask about their treasure hunt!.
Phone: 03 328 9078 www.blackcat.co.nz
Explore the harbour...
Take a drive round to Diamond Harbour (26km) or as far as the harbour head at Teddinton, then over Gebbies Pass to Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula. Here are some family spots on the way....
Magazine Bay - explore the marina and boat yards, take a water side stroll, visit the Torpedo Boat Museum (Summer - Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 1pm - 3pm Winter - Saturday, Sunday 1 - 3pm.)
Corsair Bay - a favourite summer spot - beautiful swimming, pontoon, sandy beach, walking track, playground, toilets and parking.
Cass Bay - good launch spot for kayaks (or look out for local kayak demo days here), good swimming, playground, toilets, parking and walking track to Corsair Bay.
Rapaki Bay - beach, jetty, easy parking.
Governors Bay - long jetty, good for fishing when the tide is high, very popular walking/biking track, Governors Bay hotel, serving lunches, dinners and ice creams, She Café and Chocolaterie.
Allandale and Living Springs - Allandale, near the head of the lake, features a picnic reserve with toilets, and a walk/bike track joining it to Governors Bay. Living Springs, across the road, is growing in popularity with keen mountain bikers, although the tracks require fitness and some experience.
Teddington - Turn off here to head over Gebbies Pass to the Banks Peninsula.
Orton Bradley Park, Charteris Bay
Picnic & BBQ areas, walking tracks, horse treks, golf course, tennis, historical buildings, working farm, camping and magnificent harbour views.
Diamond Harbour - great for picnics and BBQs, walks and swimming. There's a shop and café, and the Godley House Restaurant. Horse trekking nearby in Orton Bradley Park, or great kayaking bay round the hill at Purau Bay.
For more on Christchurch and Lyttelton particularly with the family, visit Kidz Go Christchurch
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