PO Box 95
Lyttelton’s dry dock (or graving dock) has been an essential backbone to New Zealand shipping since it opened with great ceremony in January 1883. Owned by the Lyttelton Port Company, it is a registered Category 1 historic place and still a working site. You may have seen the steam tug ‘Lyttelton’ in its steady embrace recently for its annual survey. “The dock was used to repair and maintain Scott's Discovery and Terra Nova in the early years of this century, and as such serves as a reminder of Lyttelton's significant link with Antarctica from the earliest days of polar exploration. Although many modern ships are too large to fit into the graving dock today, it continues to serve an important function within the port.” – https://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/details/4389
Another vessel to use the dry dock in the late 1950’s was the twin screw steam dredge ‘Whakarire’. Built in Scotland in 1903, the dredge worked initially on land reclamation in Wellington, and latterly for many years in Napier, to deepen those harbours. It was commissioned by the Royal New Zealand Navy as a boom defence vessel in Auckland Harbour for two years during WW2. The ‘Whakarire’ had major refits in Lyttelton in 1958 and 1960. In this series of images from the late 1950’s, a new boiler for the dredge is unloaded and then craned into place in the vessel in dry dock. The ‘Whakarire’ was finally retired in 1973 although the Auckland Harbour Board saved the driving wheels, which are still on display at Wynyard Wharf in Auckland.