Lyttleton is a port town on the Lyttleton Harbour on the outskirts of Christchurch. Until the earthquakes caused severe damage the town was a popular destination for cruise ships. Now passengers disembark further south at Akaroa. To get to Lyttleton most people drive through the tunnel through the Port Hills. The idea of doing that scared me and originally I wasn’t going to go down there but my parents were so I eventually changed my mind. Some people were temporarily trapped in the tunnel during the Feb 2011 earthquake and that scared me. We made it through without any problems though and came out just outside the town. There was a lot of damage everywhere. We drove through and out the other side, wondering how far we could go before the road to New Brighton was closed. We passed the site of the old timeball, debris still lying where it fell. We passed these concrete ‘walls’ where they have filled these gigantic cylinders with concrete to stop any further landslides and prevent more houses slipping.
We parked the car in a deserted street. Normally it would have been very busy. Walking the length of the street gave us a real insight into what it used to be like. It looks like it was a hub of the town. There was a display outside the library that showed before and after the quake photos of buildings in that street.
Wanting to support local businesses we looked for somewhere to buy something for lunch but there wasn’t much open. I found a pop up juice bar and bought a beautiful cup of juice. Further up the street we found some other pop up businesses in containers including The Porthole but that was closed. A Petanque Club has also been formed on one corner. Locals have taken advantage of cleared sites to launch new businesses. I hope they are able to move into more permanent venues soon.
A sign to help lift the spirits of locals.