We had an extra day to wait in the Christchurch area before loading up to head to McMurdo Station, Antarctica because one of the C-130 flight crew got sick. So a few of us intrepid explorers caught a bus over the hill to the town of Lyttelton.
Lyttelton is a small town perched above Lyttelton Harbor, a flooded volcano crater. Its port is the main import/export terminal on the South Island and a hub for cruise ships ferrying visitors to Christchurch.
We spent part of the afternoon enjoying the local beer and getting to the bottom of Port Operations.
We all now have a solid backup career option in overseeing New Zealand grain imports.
After we’d fleshed out the finer details of agricultural shipping in New Zealand, we set out for the real reason we’d come to Lyttelton: hiking.
The town is every bit a hill, so our trek began through the streets of Lyttelton until we could make up to the upper edge of town. We took the Bridle Path track up to Summit Road and then jumped over to the Crater Rim trail.
At the top, we were able to see back across the hill to Christchurch, our final destination. We stopped for a toast at the top, but descended as the clouds rolled in and encompassed us.
Once down, it’s an easy bus or taxi ride back to downtown Christchurch. This was a good half-day adventure from Christchurch. I think for a full day I would still recommend a slightly further trip to Akaroa, which is more touristy but as a result has more restaurants and areas to walk along the water. Still, I was happy to get to experience a new place and a new hike in New Zealand.