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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Port of Lyttelton

Lyttelton is the third port in New Zealand. For exports it serves the great primary-producing plains of Canterbury Province. The port is connected to the City of Christchurch through a 1¾-mile tunnel through the Port Hills. A dredged channel of about 2½ miles in length and 600 ft in width has a depth of 32 ft at low water and is maintained by the suction dredge. Canterbury. The inner harbour is situated about 4 miles from the entrance and is formed by breakwaters. Inside the breakwaters, depths vary from 20 to 38 ft at low tide. Tidal range is 7 ft springs, 5 ft neaps.

The total effective berthage is 10,338 ft, and this will accommodate 10 overseas and six intercolonial or coastal ships. All wharves except the oil wharf are connected to the national railway system. Coal and oil bunkering service is available. There are 28 cranes: 24, 5 ton; and four, 3 ton. Electric capstans facilitate the moving of railway wagons. The floating crane Rapaki has a lifting capacity of 80 tons. The graving dock will accommodate a vessel 462 ft by 52 ft by 18 ft draught, and a patent slip takes vessels of 250 tons dead weight and maximum length of 115 ft. Two steam tugs are available.

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