Just a hop, skip and a jump out of the city centre is Lyttelton with water-so-blue-your-camera-won’t-believe-it. Hop aboard a bus or grab your car for a short 20 minute shuttle out to the port. Awarded the Category of Historic Area Status in 2009 it’s one of the most special places to meander outside the city.
In the heart of lovely Lyttelton is London Street. A haven of shops, cafes and pubs. Henry Trading and Sweet Thursday are bursting with gifts, homewares and delightful treats to buy a friend (or yourself). London Street Book shop is full of old and new. Dark corners and dusty relics alongside new paperbacks makes this an absolute haven for the reading enthusiast. There’s art galleries alongside Spooky Boogie (boogie boards for all), property rentals sneak in alongside cake shops. And of course Lyttelton Coffee Company, the dark horse of Christchurch Coffee.
After your jaunt around the town (and of course coffee and cake) you could and should check out some of the secret haunts that the locals enjoy. Magazine Bay is the perfect dip on a warm Summer’s evening or wrapped up on a Winter’s afternoon. Just a short 30 minute stroll and this idyllic little spot can be yours for the taking. Take a short boat ride from the harbour and visit Quail Island where shipwrecks and beautiful swimming bays await.
Lyttelton is home to some of the steepest quirkiest streets in Christchurch. Follow them up up up and away (and marvel at some of the houses perched on the hillside) and you’ll find the start of the Urumau Reserve trail. It’s not the easiest one to find but once you start you can hike all the way up to the top (amazing views spoiler) or cut a left and come back down the hill. Tiny little stairways lead you all the way back down into the main street of the town and a welcome cafe stop.
The café culture in Christchurch is alive and kicking with some world class institutions right at our doorstep. It was hard to choose, but here is our pick for 10 of the best spots to get your caffeine fix.