Diamond Harbour




From Christchurch city centre, it's about a 45 minute drive over the Port Hills via Dyers Pass Road.

From Lyttelton, it's a 30 minute drive around the bays to Diamond Harbour.

If you don't feel like driving, grab the Diamond Harbour ferry(external link) from Lyttelton on a nice sunny day – you might even spot some native Hector's Dolphins playing in the wake.


Walking tracks and areas around Diamond Harbour have different rules regarding dogs depending on season or wildlife.

Check the individual walk pages or the dog bylaw map for more information.


There are public toilets in Charteris Bay, Diamond Harbour wharf, Stoddart Point, Bay View Road and Purau Bay.

Environment and history

Natural environment

Situated on the southern side of Lyttelton Harbour, Diamond Harbour is made up of several distinctive bays such as Charteris Bay, Hays Bay, Church Bay and Purau Bay.

The immediate foreshore varies from flat land to deep gullies covered in exotic flowering plants and trees, while side spurs formed by lava flows rise up to the peaks of Mt Bradley, Mt Herbert and Mt Evans.


Ripapa Island(external link) in the harbour has an interesting history. The site was once occupied by Māori and since the 19th century it has been a quarantine station, prison, and eventually a fort where the old gun emplacements can still be seen.


Diamond Harbour offers many recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, cycling and walking.

Pack a picnic and head out on one of the walking tracks available below:

Wharf upgrade

Work to upgrade the Diamond Harbour Wharf is underway. 

Our contractor, Hunter Civil, began work on 1 September 2022 and is expected to take eight months.

The work includes repairs, maintenance and upgrading of the wharf. It will also see an 18 by 6-metre pontoon attached to the wharf by a gangway.

The wharf is typically used by Black Cat Cruises and the addition of the pontoon will create more space, making it easier to load and unload ferry passengers.

About the work

Work on the wharf will be staged to minimise disruption and ensure that regular users can still use it during the construction period.

  • First, from 1 September 2022, piling will be carried out for the new pontoon. 
  • Then, in early January 2023, the pontoon will be installed onto the piles and attached to the wharf by a gangway. 
  • Finally, maintenance, repairs and upgrades on the wharf will begin in early February. The wharf will be split lengthwise down the middle so that one side is available at all times and access to the pontoon will be maintained while the wharf is undergoing repairs.

Work impacts

There will be changes to the way that regular users access the wharf and the area around it. 

During construction, people will still be able to swim in Diamond Harbour and access their moorings, but recreational users should be mindful of the construction site and take the advice of the contractor. 

People will not be able to swim in or under the construction site, which will be clearly signposted. 

You can find information about ferry crossings on the Black Cat website(external link) and you can also keep up to date with their service via Facebook.(external link)

Plans to upgrade the wharf were approved by the Urban Development and Transport Committee, following a consultation held from 23 October to 11 October 2020. Read more about the consultation(external link)

Takiuru ki ā mātou ratonga
Log in to our services