As the port for Christchurch city, the City of Lyttelton is not one of the best-known tourist destinations in New Zealand. However, cruise ships dock here with passengers who want to see South Island and enjoy the many attractions here. The Port of Lyttelton is a quaint and charming town well worth the visit.
West of the Port of Lyttelton is Corsair Bay. The steep-sided cove has a sandy beach and invigorating water temperatures. Corsair Bay was the venue for the World Masters’ Open-Water Swimming Championships in 2002.
The Port of Lyttelton’s Timeball Station is a reminder of the days before atomic clocks and GPS. It is one of ten stations in the world modeled after the Greenwich Observatory timeball. It looks like a castle on the hill above the Port of Lyttelton. From 1876 until 1934, a ball dropping from the stone tower’s mast let ships in the harbor know the time. The astronomical clock at the Timeball Station was made by Edward Dent & Co., who made the clock in Big Ben. The station is one of only five in the world still operating today. This treasure of maritime history has been well-restored and preserved and makes for a picturesque view of Lyttelton Harbor.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Lyttelton, Christchurch, and South Island by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.