Legend has it that Diamond Harbour was so named because one of the early settlers observed the sun reflecting on the water and thought it looked like a thousand shining diamonds.
Whatever the reason, Diamond Harbour remains one of the sunniest and unspoilt destinations on Banks Peninsula and is great for a day trip. How about an energetic walk to Mt Herbert or a more relaxing stroll around the cliff tops and beaches, or simply a visit to one of the cafe’s for delicious food or a coffee?
To get there we recommend you take the Diamond Harbour Ferry. The ferry has been operating on Lyttelton Harbour since 1888, connecting Diamond Harbour with Lyttelton. It’s just a short 5 minute walk from the ferry jetty to the small township and ferries depart at least every hour throughout the day.
Black Cat’s ferry the Black Diamond was launched in May 2001 and was purpose built to operate as the new Diamond Harbour Ferry, replacing the historic Onawe. The introduction of the new vessel has meant the journey time is reduced to around 8 minutes with greater frequency throughout the day. In combination with buses from Lyttelton to downtown Christchurch, this allows residents of Diamond Bay to commute to the city.
Lyttelton is around 15 to 20 minutes drive from the centre of Christchurch. See http://maps.google.com/ for detailed information about how to drive yourself. Print this map out to help you navigate.
We are located at B Jetty, Lyttelton Harbour. At the end of the Lyttelton tunnel turn left onto Norwich Quay. The 2nd turning to the right is the Oxford Street overbridge, you will need to park on Norwich Quay and walk over the bridge. Follow the footprints on the pavement and signs to Black Cat ferries and Quail Island.
Alternatively you can catch the number 28 bus. A regular bus service runs between Christchurch and Lyttelton and a ferry service operates to Otamahua/Quail Island from Lyttelton.
Need help getting to Akaroa? Click here for transport options.
If you’re looking ideas on what to do in Christchurch, why not visit Diamond Harbour and take in the beautiful sights and sounds of the area.
Legend has it that Diamond Harbour was so named because one of the early settlers observed the sun reflecting on the water and thought it looked like a thousand shining diamonds. Whatever the reason, Diamond Harbour remains one of the sunniest and unspoilt destinations on Banks Peninsula and is great for a day trip for people of all ages.
How about an energetic walk to Mt Herbert or a more relaxing stroll around the cliff tops and beaches. There is great swimming at both Purau Bay and Diamond Harbour and you can rent paddle boards in Diamond Harbour
The pretty town of Diamond Harbour also has a fantastic café for tea, coffee or delcious home-made food. The local Cafe now has a wonderful licenced decked bar out the back over looking the cricket field.
Cycling: Cycle to Teddington, then up Gebbes Pass and link with the Summit Road to enjoy wonderful views. Return via Dyers Pass Road and Governors Bay
Diamond Harbour Cliff Track: A lovely coastal walk, quite challenging in places, which starts at Purau and continues around the cliff to Church Bay. There are several approaches/exits to Marine Drive along the walk. Maps available from the Diamond Harbour Country Store or Lyttelton Harbour Information Centre.
Diamond Harbour Historical walk: An easy 1 1/2 hour walk. Maps (50c) available from Church Bay Store and Diamond Harbour Country Store.
Charteris Bay Golf Club
Lyttelton Farmers market: followed by lunch in Diamond Harbour. Every Saturday from 10am – 1pm the Lyttelton Farmers market is a very popular attraction. Catch the ferry to Diamond Harbour after you’ve made your purchases and sampled the delicious goodies and have lunch at the Country Store for fabulous food and coffee.
Pack a picnic and head to the beach. Purau Bay (best at half to full tide) Diamond Harbour (stoney beach but safe swimming).
Under the New Zealand governments Covid-19 protection framework (traffic light system) there is currently no requirement to show a My Vaccine Record passport when using the ferry as this is listed as public transport service.
At the Lyttelton side where the ferries depart from there is good access for those in wheelchairs however at both Diamond Harbour and Quail Island the jetties feature steps. With able bodied assistance its possible to get up these steps. If you hold a Hapai card you can bring a free carer. You must carry the card with you when you travel. There are no toilets on the ferry but its just a 10 minute trip
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The Award Winning Black Cat Group is internationally recognised as one of the success stories of the New Zealand tourism industry and an eco-tourism pioneer. We were the first to offer cruises in Akaroa and we are recognised as New Zealand’s first Eco-tourism operator.
Our Nature Cruises and Dolphin Swimming experience depart from Akaroa which is only a 90 minute scenic drive from Christchurch. The Diamond Harbour and Quail Island ferry depart from Lyttelton in Christchurch.