Lyttelton Harbour is a great place for sailing. The Easterly Sea Breeze kicks in almost without fail about 1pm on a sunny day and it provides a lovely consistent breeze right up the harbour for us to race in!
We have got some lovely bays, including Corsair Bay, Diamond Harbour, Pile Bay and Little Port Cooper which are all sheltered from the Easterly and provide sheltered anchorages if you want to overnight.
Watch out for the hot Nor-Wester wind which tends to build to a very strong gusty wind and is usually closely followed by a Southerly change. Southerly fronts are strong winds accompanied with rain and the harbour can get quite rough.
There are two very average marina’s in Lyttelton Harbour. None of which I would recommend, however plans are afoot for a development in the current Port area.
Around Banks Peninsula you can cruise to Port Levy, and Pigeon Bay which are both very sheltered and further around is Little Akaloa, Okains and Le Bons Bays – however these are a bit more open to the swell and winds.
It is about an 8 hour journey or 40nm around to Akaroa from Lyttelton. Pick your weather as it can get quite rough out around the Peninsula and there aren’t too many places to shelter once you are half way there.
Naval Point Club Lyttelton is the main yacht club and people are very friendly and willing to help visitors.