Harbour Real Estate - History and Geography

Use the Google Map below to zoom in on the area of your choice. Switch to Satellite view, to get a birds-eye view of the harbour bays.



Situated on the south side of Lyttelton Harbour, Diamond Harbour was originally named Stoddard’s Bay after Mark Stoddart – one of Canterbury’s first settlers.

Stoddart settled on Banks Peninsula in the 1850s and gave Diamond Harbour the name it still has today.

Stoddart and his wife Anna had a family of six children including the renowned Canterbury painter Margaret Stoddart. Their family home – a cottage imported from Australia in sections, still stands across from Godley House today.

In 1913, the Lyttelton Borough Council bought the estate from the Stoddart family with the intention of turning the Bay into a residential suburb for Lyttelton.

Forty acres of land was turned into a reserve and nowadays Diamond Harbour is a village comprising a collection of holiday homes, residential properties, and businesses.


Diamond Harbour’s most famous landmark is the historic Godley House. Built in 1880 by Harvey Hawkins, Godley House was an original family home which was known for lavish parties. A jetty was built at the bottom of the hill so visitors could come across from Lyttelton.

Hawkins fell on hard times and the land and home were then returned to Mark Stoddart (who Hawkins had purchased the land from). His family lived in the home until 1913 when, as mentioned above, he sold the home to the Lyttelton Borough Council. It was then dubbed Godley House after John Robert Godley.

Unfortunately Godley house was serverely damaged after the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011.

Orton Bradley Park in Charteris Bay is another notable landmark. This huge estate was originally owned by Dr Thomas Moore who built a cottage there in 1853. Eventually, the land was sold to the Bradley family and was home to many industries including a quarry and flax mill. Today the land is a national park with a variety of walks and a children’s adventure playground especially popular with locals and visitors alike.

Real Estate and Design

A mix of homes is available in this area ranging from traditional kiwi batches and holiday cottages to substantial modern homes.

Diamond Harbour Village

Diamond Harbour village is the home of Harbour Real Estate Limited, there is also a country store and cafe, Post Office, library, community hall and a health centre.

Nearby Lyttelton, readily accessed from Diamond Harbour by Ferry is also home to an array of shops, restaurants, and cafe’s.

Sport and Recreation

Diamond Harbour is a recreational paradise with numerous sporting facilities, including walks, rugby club grounds, play centre, bowls and croquet greens, tennis courts, children’s playground, golf course, Purau Bay and Charteris Bay boat ramps and the beaches at Church Bay, Purau, Diamond Harbour, Paradise Beach and Camp Bay, Orton Bradley Park, mountain biking tracks. In addition, the harbour offers a variety of activities – from boating, kayaking to fishing, yachting, wind surfing and other water sports.

The area enjoys a pleasing climate with winters virtually frost free.

School, Education and Institutions

Diamond Harbour School caters from primary to intermediate age children, and there is a free bus to Cashmere High School in Christchurch. There is also a play centre and toy library.

Distance to CBD

Diamond Harbour is approximately 30 to 40 minutes drive from Christchurch.

Photos of the Area

These photos were taken from the hills above Diamond Harbour one summer...

Looking to the Northwest with Lyttelton Port on the right and Diamond Harbour and Purau Bay in the foreground.
Looking through the harbour entrance to the East.
One of the northern bays.
Looking across Purau Bay to Lyttelton Port
Looking to Lyttelton Port


Looking across Purau Bay to Diamond Harbour
Diamond Harbour with Quail Island in the background.
Looking across Diamond Harbour to the northwest, with Christchurch city in the background.