Photo By Peter Watts
Lyttelton Timeball Station

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Lyttelton Timeball Station - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

Panorama taken from the grounds of the Lyttelton Timeball Station. The station itself is up the hill behind the flagpole. As required for it's function, the Timeball Station has a prime view over Lyttelton Harbour.

Lyttelton Timeball Station - FURTHER INFORMATION

Lyttelton Timeball Station - Banks Peninsula visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Lyttelton Timeball Station' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Canterbury.

The Lyttelton Time Ball Station is the only remaining Timeball Station in New Zealand, and one of only 60 in the world. It is situated in the Canterbury region in the town of Lyttelton, just a short distance away from Christchurch. It is now listed and protected as a Category I listed Historic Place of New Zealand.

Timeball Stations served shipping by keeping very accurate time. Every day at about 5 minutes to 1pm the ball was raised about half way up the mast. At 3 minutes to the hour the ball was raised to the top. Then at 1pm the ball was dropped, with 1pm being marked as the time it began to drop. This enabled ships navigators to set their chronometers accurately in a time when clocks often lost time, and was essential in enabling them to determine their longitude when at sea. The timeball can be seen on top of the building attached to the mast. It is a black and red ball.

The Lyttelton Time Ball first dropped in 1876 and continued to function faithfully until 1934. Thereafter, the station served as a place of residence. It now functions as a museum and historic place of interest, one of the tourist attractions of Lyttelton. Within the station some of the rooms have been restored to show some of the history and function of the building. Access to the roof is possible, with fantastic views over both Lyttleton and the harbour (see the Timeball Roof and View over Lyttelton Harbour panoramas).


Lyttelton Timeball Station
2 Reserve Terrace
Lyttelton, New Zealand
Tel: (03) 328-7311
Lyttelton Timeball Station Email


From Christchurch, take the 73 and then the 74 south along Tunnel Road. At the southern end of the tunnel turn left into Lyttelton.

Bus: #28 and #35 buses to Lyttelton from Christchurch Bus Exchange.

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