Visiting the port town of Lyttelton, New Zealand

I had a day off work in the middle of last week (for my birthday), we decided to take a trip over to the port town of Lyttelton which is less than 30 minutes drive from central Christchurch city.

As a child we used to visit the town a lot and swim in one of the bays around the beautiful harbour.  In mid-May, just a couple of weeks from start of winter, its far from swimming weather, but the sun came out, and as it was mid-week we had the bays pretty much to ourselves.

To get to Cass and Corsair Bays, once you get through the tunnel under the Port Hills, instead of turning left towards Lyttelton township, you take a right, then watch out for the left hand turns down to the bays.  Neither bay is well sign posted and you really need to be a local, or a visitor with a good map to find them.

First stop was Cass Bay, this is a small rocky bay with limited parking, but has a nice grassy waterfront.  Great for a picnic in nice weather.

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Celia practised her mountaineering skills by climbing up the rocks.

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Next stop was Corsair Bay.  This has a couple of large car parks and is a much larger beach.  There is also a set of public toilets at this location.  The beach is sandy-ish with lots of  broken shells, the doglets didn’t like the feel of these on their feet.  They prefered the rockier Cass Bay.

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Alice reminding us that she has an exceptionally long tongue with which to kiss us with…


Celia doing her best beach babe pose…

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Once we finished at the bays, we headed back through the township and stopped at Dalcroy House to solve The Mystery of the Unknown Great-Grandmother.  Once we had completed that mission, we headed up to the cemetery up on the hill.  Our aim was to see if we could locate my Great-Grandparent’s graves.

First “aha” moment was the War Memorial at the cemetery, which has my Great-Uncle who died in World War 2’s name on it – M K Sillars – you can visit Keith’s memorial page here.


Lyttelton was badly hit by our 2011 earthquakes and the cemetery was no exception – many graves are in a shocking state of disrepair.  The broken and fallen grave markers have for the most part been placed on top of the respective graves, but large areas of the land are out of line and greatly moved, so you had to carefully watch your step.

Needless to say, we didn’t find the graves that we were looking for, as the cemetery was also larger than we expected.


Finishing up for the day, we headed back through the main part of the town and spied the War Memorial.  Most of the names on either side were World War 1.  Hard to believe such a small town lost so many men. On the small plaque at the bottom it had the names from World War 2, and again Keith’s name is on this memorial.

IMG_2411 IMG_2412 IMG_2413And as an aside, we never would have found their graves as I have since found they are buried in the Anglican Cemetery in Lyttelton which isn’t the one we went to – so I guess that means we have to go back 🙂




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