Diamond Harbour Wharf is being upgraded to improve safety and accessibility.

Project status: Closed for feedback
Open for feedback: 23rd October 2020 - 11th November 2020


A floating pontoon is planned on the south-east side of the wharf, to provide protection from the wind. The crane will be decommissioned so the pontoon can take its position. The crane will either be moved to a new position on the wharf or to a new location in Diamond Harbour.

At the same time, we will upgrade the existing decking, handrails and seating on the main wharf, improve storage within the existing bike shed and look at how we can improve lighting and shade.


The Diamond Harbour Wharf is used by many locals who travel to Lyttelton using the Black Cat Ferry. The wharf is also popular with locals and visitors as a spot for  swimming/jumping
The wharf has accessibility issues, particularly the steps used to get on and off the ferry. The steps are often underwater, slippery and difficult to manoeuvre bikes and pushchairs and are not suitable for wheelchairs.

If you’d like to find out about the history of the wharf take a look at the History tab.


Click on the images to enlarge

Downloadable files

Concept plan and Cross-section of the new pontoon [PDF, 855 KB]

What we've done so far

We commissioned environmental, structural and conservation reports to ensure our plan doesn’t have any negative cultural, environmental or heritage impacts.


Conservation report [PDF, 6.4 MB]

Structural report [PDF, 4.7 MB]

Floating Pontoon Assessment [PDF, 3.8 MB]

Is there anything we need to know before starting our work? Let us know by filling out the form below.

Diamond Harbour Wharf
Summary from the conservation report [PDF, 6.4 MB], 22 October 2020

Co-authored and prepared by Tony Ussher Architect & Conservation Consultant and Katharine Watson – Archaeologist

The  Diamond  Harbour wharf was one of a  number in  Whakaraupo/Lyttelton  Harbour,  forming a  vital network that linked the various farms and settlements of the harbour and allowing the transport of both goods and people before the road network began to replace it. 

The first  Diamond  Harbour jetty,  complete with crane, was built by Mark Stoddart and was still there by at least 1862 but was possibly built in the early 1850s. This would have been used primarily by the Stoddart family, and the crane’s presence was a testament to the use of the wharf to transport farm produce and other heavy items.

By 1874, both the jetty and crane were in a poor state of repair, and work was carried out to repair at least the jetty.  Even at this time, Stoddart noted that the jetty (and associated road) were used more by the public than the  Stoddart family.  After  Harvey  Hawkins went bankrupt,  Godley  House and the associated grounds operated as a variety of public ventures, all of which would have attracted numerous visitors to Diamond  Harbour. It seems likely that the jetty continued to be used for produce during this period, supporting local farms.

Following the death of Anna Stoddart and the development of Diamond Harbour as a suburb,  the jetty was almost entirely reconstructed, due to safety concerns about the old jetty and due to the development of a  ferry service between  Lyttelton and  Diamond  Harbour to meet the needs of the residents of the new suburb.

The development of other facilities at Diamond Harbour at this time, including bathing facilities,  a campground and a golf course, also meant that the area became a popular destination for day-trippers and holiday-makers from Christchurch.

Improved road access to Diamond Harbour, as well as changing recreation patterns,  meant that use of the ferry service declined after  World  War  II,  although recreational boating activity increased. This ferry is one of the few sea ferries operating in Canterbury and is likely to be the longest operating one.

Talk to the team

If you would like to discuss this project with the team, please join us.

Date: Saturday 7 November

Time: between 8.30am and 10.30am

Location: Diamond Harbour Wharf