Small island – big history. Tucked close against the southern shore of Whakaraupō (Lyttelton Harbour), the small island of Ripapa was an ideal site for a fortified pa for Ngāi Tahu and later, a fortress to defend against possible Russian attacks.Displays on the island provide more information about its history.
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.
Bring a torch to explore the tunnels as they are not lit. Bring a camera to take some fantastic photo’s. We also recommend that you should also bring warm clothes as it can be cool on the island especially with the prevailing sea breeze.
The Ripapa Island trip departs Lyttelton at 9.15am and takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the island. The boat does not stay at the island whilst you are there. You will have approximately just over 90 minutes on the island before returning to the jetty for your return departure time of 11.15am.
We don’t recommend Ripapa Island for anyone in a wheelchair because there are no tracks on the island and no wheelchair access to the fort, outbuildings or upper terrace. In addition the jetty steps are steep for those in a wheelchair.
The award winning Black Cat Group is internationally recognised as one of New Zealand’s tourism industry success stories and an eco-tourism pioneer. We were the first to offer cruises in Akaroa and we are recognised as New Zealand’s very first eco-tourism operator.
Our Nature Cruises and Dolphin Swimming experience depart from the stunning Akaroa harbour which is only a 90 minute scenic drive from Christchurch. The Diamond Harbour and Quail Island ferry depart from Lyttelton in Christchurch.