Lyttelton Harbour is a good anchorage with a sheltered deep water Port, five nautical miles from the open sea.
The Harbour, on the north-east coast of Banks Peninsula, runs westwards for eight nautical miles between two imposing headlands; Godley on the northern side and Adderley on the southern. Almost a mile and a quarter wide, the harbour opens into three wide and shallow bays beyond the township of Lyttelton. A dredged channel, starts at the Heads and leads westwards to the Port. This provides a deep draught for commercial shipping in the South Island and makes the Port ideal for all types of modern container vessels, bulk carriers or conventional vessels.
New Zealand is a leading trading nation with an abundance of natural resources and highly productive land. The Port of Lyttelton, located on the South Island’s east coast, takes advantage of the Island’s leading role in producing primary products for national and international markets.
Excellent road, rail and coastal sea links fan out from the Port, providing easy access for carriers to transport goods throughout the South Island.
Being the major Port in the South Island, along with the ability to handle a wide variety of cargoes, Lyttelton provides an invaluable service to importers and exporters throughout the South Island as well as being an important link for many national and international shipping companies. The Port’s success is a positive sign of the prosperity of the region as it provides the basis for a huge infrastructure of employment, not just in Lyttelton and Christchurch, but all over Canterbury and the South Island.
A natural deep harbour with a soft mud bottom that is easily dredged, the main navigation channel is maintained to a depth of 11.9 m below chart datum which enables vessels to arrive or depart with a draught of 12.4 m on the high tide.
The channel itself is almost straight with only one 20 degree bend from the pilot station to the turning basin off Cashin Quay. The turning basin facilitates the swinging of vessels up to 350 m in length.
The Inner Harbour provides sheltered berthing for a range of general cargo vessels. The entrance to the Inner Harbour is approximately 150m wide.
East Coast, South Island, New Zealand
Latitude 43° 36′ S
Longitude 172° 43′ E