Harbour cruises and great cafés attract visitors to the historic port town of Lyttelton, just 20 minutes from the centre of Christchurch city.
Lyttelton is a port town with a long history. Christchurch’s first European settlers landed here in 1850 before trekking over the Port Hills to establish their new home.
Today Lyttelton is accessed by an impressive road tunnel. It's a colourful town, home to a community of nearly 3,000, brimming with bohemian artists, cafés, quirky shops and restaurants.
As you’d expect, the local museum has a maritime theme; it also has an excellent Antarctic gallery (Lyttelton was an expedition launching point in the days of South Pole expeditions). Harbour cruises depart from Lyttelton every day - with any luck, you’ll encounter Hector’s dolphins.
Another place of interest is the neo-Gothic Timeball Station, which was erected in 1876 to keep Greenwich Mean Time. The Timeball was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake but a movement to restore this landmark is underway.