Lyttelton is the seaport satellite town of Christchurch in New Zealand, lying just over the Port Hills from Christchurch.


Lyttelton provides a safe, sheltered deepwater harbour, as it lies in the caldera of an extinct volcano. The town's steep streets are a novelty for many Christchurch drivers, who rarely encounter a hill (unless they deliberately drive to the hill suburbs on the edge of the city).

Lyttelton was established as a seaport in the late 1840s. The early settlers had to walk over the Bridle Path - so named because the path was so steep that horses had to be lead by the bridle as they could not be ridden. In the early years, Lyttelton provided a trans-shipment point for cargo bound for Christchurch. Passengers and light cargo would travel over the Bridle Path on foot or horseback. Heavier cargo was shipped in shallow draught coastal vessels back around the coast, across the treacherous Sumner bar and into the estuary to Ferrymead or, later, Steam Wharf, just down the Heathcote River from where the Tunnel Road meets Ferry Road.

New Zealand's first public railway was built to link Christchurch and Lyttelton, opening from Christchurch to Ferrymead in 1863 and then to Lyttelton once the 2.6km Lyttelton Rail Tunnel was completed in 1867. In 1964, the rail tunnel was supplemented by the 2.0km Lyttelton Road Tunnel. Between 1895 and 1976, steam ferries operated an overnight service between Lyttelton and Wellington, linking New Zealand's two main islands.

Get in

By car

There are three ways by car from Christchurch into Lyttelton:

By bus

Take the number 28 bus from the Bus Exchange to Rapaki/Lyttelton.

By foot

Walk the Bridal Path from Heathcote.

By boat

If you are arriving by small boat, it pays to be aware of the information on the Approach and Navigation section of the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki.






Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, October 31, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.