Post earthquake comment is in red.
This place is another wonder in the townscapes of New Zealand. Lyttelton ostensibly is a suburb of Christchurch but in truth is in a totally different suburban space. Lyttelton is a mariner township with its roots clearly on display where as Christchurch some 2kms through a tunnel is a millennium away. Before the tunnel Lyttelton was a long and inconvenient distance. After the tunnel was built which was a commercial necessity, Lyttelton became an outer suburb of Christchurch. That said, Lyttelton still seems to be very independent from Christchurch. Since the Feb 2011 the town is now very dependent on Christchurch and the regional plan to rebuild. Our observation seems Lyttelton is out of sight and is lagging support. The town is in bad shape and appears very sad.
Banks Peninsula on which Littleton I sited was first sighted by Europeans on 16 February 1770 from the Endeavour during James Cook's first voyage to New Zealand. Originally the Harbour was called Cook's mistake by one of the earliest European visitors.
Lyttelton Harbour is the northern major sea inlet on Banks Peninsula, the one prominent feature on the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand. Banks Peninsula was once a volcanic island and Lyttelton Harbour the sea-filled crater of a volcano that erupted 11 million years ago.
The harbour is now an inlet on the northwestern side of Banks Peninsula, extending 18 km inland from the southern end of Pegasus Bay. It is surrounded by steep hills formed from the sides of an extinct volcanic crater, which rise to a height of 500 m.
Lyttelton was formerly called Port Cooper and Port Victoria. It was the original settlement in the district (1850). The name Lyttelton was given to it in honour of George William Lyttelton of the Canterbury Association, which had led the colonisation of the area.