a VirtualTourist member
If I plan to arrive in Lyttelton in January what will the weather look like? I'd like to know what to pack and what activities to plan on. I also might be there for an extended amount of time so any information about the weather year-round would be appreciated. thanks!
Hi In January the weather is excellent. The place is south facing and has exposure in the winter to cold winds, but the summer is good. It is a harbour and has sail boats and pubs and is some way from the city centre, but is well serviced by bus. Clothes are cheap, and it a good place to use as a base to explore the South Island.
Due to travelling I have missed your question in the forum. But I think it is still early enough to send you an answer.
At the moment we have great weather, and the long-term forecast says we will get a dry and hot summer here in and around Lyttelton (the Canterbury region). Even in bad conditions we do not get four seasons in a day here - but sometimes three... ;-) The strong winds which are typical for springtime are calming down. And if it becomes really cold you can buy fleece jackets or jerseys at the Warehouse for 10 to 20 NZ$, and at the Gondola summit station they also sell low-price fleece products (Kiwi Stuff).
For activities in and from Lyttelton I recommend my Lyttelton page, and check the Akaroa tips on my Christchurch page.
My must-do list includes walks in the Port Hills which start right in Lyttelton, Quail Island (which is located in the harbour basin), a tour of Banks Peninsula and Akaroa, hiking on Banks Peninsula. You can walk up Mt. Herbert, the peninsula's hightest peak, by taking the ferry from Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour (10 mins), and then walk up 920 m from sea-level. You can go dolphin watching (Hector's dolphins, the world's rarest dolphins) in Akaroa and Lyttelton Harbour, and from Akaroa you can also book a tour to penguin watching at Flea Bay. If you like hiking the Banks Peninsula Track (2 to 4 days) is a very nice option.
Although we have several nice small beaches which you can reach from Lyttelton on foot I prefer the endless beach of New Brighton (ok, ok, the Waimakariri river mouth interrupts it after 25 km).
If you stay longer just take the bus and explore Christchurch and other parts of Canterbury (Arthur's Pass, Hanmer Springs etc.).