Set in the natural amphitheatre of an ancient volcanic crater, Lyttelton Harbour is a popular recreational hub easily accessed from Christchurch. High above the town and water are native bush and tussock covered bluffs created by lava flows. The harbour itself is large, man made and enclosed by flat, linear headlands that have been heavily modified by Port industry over the years.
The harbour and surrounding bays of Magazine, Motukauatiiti/Corsair and Motukauatirahi/Cass offer opportunities for boating, swimming, fishing and coastal walks. Magazine Bay is also home to the Torpedo Boat Museum(external link) which is housed in an old powder magazine and well worth a visit. Corsair Bay has a pirate themed playground and Cass Bay has a number of sandy coves and a flying fox. Check out the beach map to find a spot to suit you.
Across the harbour from Lyttelton is Quail Island, accessible by ferry(external link). Quail Island has a long and fascinating history that includes being used as a quarantine station, leper colony, influenza hospital and Antarctic dog training ground. Take a 2.5 hour walk around the island to see the historic barracks building, ship graveyard and many birds and native plants.