Christchurch

Lyttleton, Corsair Bay and Cass Bay, Christchurch

If you’re looking to escape the city for an easy seaside trip, the journey out to Lyttleton, Corsair Bay and Cass Bay is a great idea. You’ll find some nice coastal views, easy walking tracks and some nice bars and cafes (in Lyttleton at least). You can also keep going around the bays to Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour (and beyond), but I’ll keep that for another post.

Lyttleton

Lyttleton is the main port in Christchurch and is home to plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants. It seems like a place that Christchurch locals would go on a sunny day for a coffee or a drink, and it has a nice laid back vibe. There are also some accommodation options there and it could make for an interesting alternative to staying in the city.

You can drive through a big tunnel to get to Lyttleton, or you could do the Bridal Path, which takes you up over the hill. It seems like a hard walk, and if you do the Christchurch Gondola like we did you’ll see the best views without the effort! After hanging out in Lyttleton you might feel like going for a walk. There are a few available, including the coastal track to Corsair Bay and then Cass Bay, or you can drive.

Corsair Bay

A few minutes’ drive from Lyttleton you’ll come to Corsair Bay. You’ll see the turnoff pretty easily, but beware getting back out to the main road after visiting Corsair Bay as it’s a bit of a dodgy intersection. From the car park at Corsair Bay it’s an easy walk down to the beach, although the sand isn’t much to write home about.

There are walking tracks on either side of Corsair Bay. You can walk back towards Lyttleton, which apparently takes an hour. I walked a bit of this track (just past Magazine Bay) and it was a pleasant walk. There are some nice harbour views along the way, with the view towards Magazine Bay being my favourite. I walked all the way down to Magazine Bay, but it definitely looked nicer from above!

The track on the other side of Corsair Bay will take you around to Cass Bay. I went most of the way but got sick of walking on the muddy track (it had rained heavily a couple of hours before I got there). Again, you’ll get some nice views on this track and it’s very easy (assuming it didn’t just rain).

Cass Bay

From Corsair Bay it’s a very short drive (or walk) to Cass Bay. There are quite a few houses above the bay, and I reckon this would be an awesome place to live (it’s surely expensive though). The beach area is alright but the real highlight is the track around to Pony Point. It takes around 20 minutes (or there’s a shortcut, which was way too muddy when I was there) and you’ll get beautiful views over Cass Bay and the harbour. You can also park at Cass Bay and walk back towards Corsair Bay – I’d recommend doing it this way if you’re doing that walk as the intersection at Cass Bay is far easier to get out of.

Want to Keep Going…?

To really make a day of it you can keep driving towards Governors Bay, Diamond Harbour and beyond. I went as far as Diamond Harbour and the views just get better the further you go. Check out my post in the near future!

Are you planning a trip to Christchurch? Check out my other posts!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.
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