Christchurch, South Island

Quail Island Black Cat Cruises 1

Quail Island Adventures :: Black Cat Cruises

Quail Island Black Cat Cruises

Spend a fascinating half-day exploring Quail Island, right in the middle of Lyttelton Harbour.

Secluded inlets, safe swimming beaches and lovely walks and picnic areas, why not take your lunch and swimming costumes for a great family day out?

Quail Island Black Cat Cruises – Spend a half-day exploring Quail Island, in the middle of Lyttelton Harbour.

Check out the shipwreck on Quail Island.

Quail Island Adventures :: Black Cat Cruises

Quail Island Adventures :: Black Cat Cruises September to April

Spend a half-day exploring Quail Island, in the middle of Lyttelton Harbour. Named after the now extinct native Quail, the island was used as a leprosy colony and a quarantine station by the early European settlers. The Antarctica explorers, Scott and Shackleton, took advantage of the island to train their sled dogs and ponies before setting off on their ill-fated voyages. Today the island is home to native birds including the rare white flippered little blue penguins. Secluded inlets, safe swimming beaches and lovely walks and picnic areas makes a great family day out.

Black Cat run regular departures throughout the summer - why not join the Great Quail Island Treasure Hunt? Simply pick up a treasure map on our ferry on route to the island. Then use the map to find the clues and solve the secret word.

Diamond Harbour Ferry

Diamond Harbour, on the Banks Peninsula, makes a great half day or day trip - take the family and some fishing rods, swim in the gorgeous bay, have a picnic, walk or bbq, or enjoy a pub lunch (with lots of space for kids to play) at Godley House.  Ferries depart Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour throughout the day, half hourly or hourly, 7 days a week.  Booking isn't required and the crossing takes around 8 minutes.

Prices (one way): Adult $6.20, Child $3.10
For more trip information and bookings click here.

Quail Island Recreational Reserve (September - April)

Spend a fascinating half-day exploring Quail Island, right in the middle of Lyttelton Harbour. Named after the now extinct native Quail, the island was used as a leprosy colony and a quarantine station by the early European settlers. The Antarctica explorers, Scott and Shackleton, took advantage of the island to train their sled dogs and ponies before setting off on their ill-fated voyages. Today the island is home to native birds including the fantail, kingfisher, silvereye and many sea birds including the rare white flippered little blue penguins. Secluded inlets, safe swimming beaches and lovely walks and picnic areas, why not take your lunch and swimming costumes for a great family day out?  Toilets and changing rooms on the island. Black Cat run regular departures throughout the summer - why not join the Great Quail Island Treasure Hunt?  Simply pick up a treasure map on our ferry on route to the island. Then use the map to find the clues and solve the secret word. 


Prices (return): Adult $30, Child $15  (child is 5-15)
Family Passes available:  2 adults + 2 children, second child goes free.
For more trip information and bookings click here.

Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • North Canterbury
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Rotorua
  • Queenstown
  • Taranaki
  • South Canterbury
  • Taupo
  • Southland
  • Waikato
  • Wanaka
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.