Diamond Harbour & Excursions

castle hillDiamond Harbour is the untouched paradise
truly I have travelled the world and my place is so special, unique, peaceful & friendly

Go to www.diamondharbour.info and see what’s on offer in our secluded paradise just 45 mins from Christchurch airport and city and 10 mins by ferry from Lyttelton.

NZ Herald Travel Writer Article - A Insiders View of Diamond Harbour 25 Aug

Travel expert Rosemary McNoe shares her insider tips for exploring Diamond Harbour in Canterbury.

Welcome to the sunny side of the harbour. Situated across from Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour is a small coastal suburb and a secluded haven known for its friendly locals, multitude of day walks and gorgeous scenery. You can listen to kererū and piwakawaka who will follow you on your walk.

Get out on the water and enjoy a stand-up paddleboard lesson with local instructor Joe - boards and life jackets are included in the rental. Walk along part of the scenic coastal cliff track that runs from Charteris Bay to Purau and chat to locals along the way.

Grab a takeaway coffee and sweet treat from the Diamond Harbour Eatery and Bar and head along to Stoddart Cottage Gallery, birthplace of renowned Canterbury impressionist painter Margaret Stoddart. Carefully restored, the cottage is open Fridays to Sundays with a new exhibition every month, along with a Co-Operative store, where you can purchase locally produced craft goods.

Head to local treasure Orton Bradley Park but on the way, stop at store On the Spot where owners Laura and James will put together picnic essentials for you. Be sure to grab a bottle of rose or pinot noir from the boutique local vineyard Whistling Buoy.

Get your legs moving and your heart pumping in Orton Bradley Park, from a gentle stroll through the rhododendron gardens to a more challenging hike to the summit of Mt Herbert if you have time, or let the kids loose at the playground and bike track.

If you are here in the summer, spend a lazy Sunday afternoon listening to live music at Stoddart Point, home to former historic Godley House, sadly demolished after the Canterbury earthquakes.

Drive the winding scenic road to Port Levy and recognise some of the scenes shot in Peter Jackson's film Heavenly Creatures. Port Levy used to be home to the largest Māori population in Canterbury and now there is the Tūtehuarewa Marae. Enjoy the peace and solitude and visit the historic wooden St Paul's Anglican Church.

End your day with a ferry ride across to Lyttelton; be sure to look out for the tiny Hector's dolphins frequently spotted around the harbour. As you watch the sun set over Diamond Harbour, enjoy a tasty Asian-inspired meal at Lyttelton legend Super - my top pick is the karaage fried chicken, pork belly bao buns and a sliver of miso dark chocolate torte to finish.

The ocean truly sparkles like diamonds and the views stretch open to south america  with gorgeous coastal walks, just 10 minutes to 3 volcanic beaches (usually deserted during the weekdays) – Camp Bay. This secluded sanctuary is  perfect for a retreat and TripAdvisor says Banks Peninsular is one of the highlights during a visit to Christchurch.

Recently Diamond Harbour has a restaurant/bar  and there is music in the park in summer every sunday.  Most afternoons in the summer we go to the beach which is so peaceful and gorgeous for swimming.

Maybe you want to have a kayak ride in the bay
Maybe you would like to visit one of the best growers markets by ferry in Lyttelton on Saturday  or go up the gondala or do a kayak trip or just sit in the gorgeous bean bags on the deck watching the world go by. You won’t be bored and if you have to move we can go on these amazing excursions.

Castle Hill- labelled as the 7th highest energy vortex in the world, 1-1/2 hrs away.Castle Hill is a very special place with great significance to the Waitaha and the Maori people. It is named Kura Tahiti which means ‘treasure from afar’ A hidden place, landscape of giant stone, scattered Stonehenge, what Barry Brailsford describes as a sacred nest of stones, a place even the Dalai Lama has talked of as an important energy centre for the earth. Having recently returned from Machu Pichu, Paru swears that this place has a similar energy without the tourist crowds. Just wander through the amazing rock formation and feel the energy and echo of this amazing place. Includes a picnic lunch and can include a dinner out.

Akaroa- 1 1/4 hours on the other side of the Peninsular –This is a true adventure excursion.  We drive the 
stunning cliffs and rawness of  of the peninsular and arrive down in my other favourite hideaway  Pigeon Bay – where we face our fears with a swing over the ocean and a picnic lunch on the jetty  –  then on to stunning
Akaroa where you can wander the main street and then maybe stopping on a wild beach on return – shop, eat drink in this gorgeous, famous French village. www.akaroa.com

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