A ferry has been operating on Lyttelton Harbour since 1888, connecting Lyttelton with picturesque Diamond Harbour. 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. Journey time across the harbour is around 8 minutes, depending on conditions.
Spend a fascinating half-day exploring Quail Island. The island was used as a leprosy colony and quarantine station by early European settlers. Antarctic explorers, Scott and Shackleton and later Commander Byrd, used the island to train sled dogs and ponies before setting off for the ice. Today Quail Island is home to many native birds including the fantail, kingfisher, silvereye and many sea birds including the rare white flippered little blue penguins. An adventure exploring the island makes for a great family day out.
Nestled close to shore in Lyttelton Harbour is Ripapa Island. It was originally a Maori pa before it became home to Fort Jervois, built in 1860 to repel a possible Russian invasion. The island was then transformed to a prisoner of war camp and housed the famous Count Felix Von Luckner. Black Cat’s guided tours will take you back in time to explore this historic island.