Punting Tour Along the River Avon
Christchurch, New Zealand
- The River Avon: Lined with willows and bristling with colorful waterfowl, the Avon meanders through Christchurch in classic lazy-river style – winding its way through lush parklands and the city center.
- Antigua Boatsheds: A signature landmark and part of Christchurch's history, these pinstriped sheds just outside the Botanic Gardens have changed little over the last 130 years.
- Your punter: Dapper in their Cambridge-style straw boater cap and suspendered khakis, your Avon punter serves as both guide and eco-friendly power source – poling your flat-bottomed boat along at a tranquil pace and sharing commentary on the sights you pass as the "Garden City" slides by.
- All the comforts: This style of punt is typically shared, with low cushioned seating and the punter on a platform at the rear. Blankets and umbrellas are provided when needed – along with cozy hot water bottles during chillier months.
About This Christchurch Tour
Rivers named 'Avon' are a thing in countries with historic ties to England. There are nine of them in the UK alone (including the one made so famous by Shakespeare awhile back), a couple in Canada, five in Australia, and two in New Zealand.
The one you'll glide along on this tour snakes some nine miles through Christchurch and its suburbs before flowing into the Pacific near Sumner. The good news for us all is that this Avon takes its sweet time getting where it’s going, flowing gently around curve after curve of tree-lined banks that seem like something out of an Impressionist painting.
Willows weep in profusion, ducks and other waterfowl paddle and squabble, even sizable trout call these waters home. The river's course takes it through verdant Christchurch Botanic Gardens and giant Hagley Park, as well as right through the city's central business district, passing under scenic bridges at regular intervals along the way.
While the majority of downtown's buildings were heavily damaged by back-to-back earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the river itself looks much as it always has – which is idyllic and beautiful.
Settle back, set your iPhone to mute, kiss your everyday cares goodbye for a bit, and treat yourself and those you're traveling with to a trip back into Edwardian times as you glide along a river that's never cared how many others share its name.
Clean your art twice weekly
An iron man stands rocklike in the waters of the Avon, just upstream from the Gloucester St. Bridge in central Christchurch. One of a pair of matching works created by renowned British sculptor, Sir Antony Gormley, to assist in the city's "healing" after crippling earthquakes, this 1400-pound abstract human figure – simply called Stay – has captured a lot of attention and quite a bit of unexpected river-borne weed debris, too. Pranksters have also taken to dressing Stay in fashionable attire when no one's looking.
Please make your way to Antigua Boatsheds, 2 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch to begin your adventure.
Bring small coins for the bathroom. Take a light jacket or rain coat for the weather. Tour is roughly 50 miles from port area of Akaroa.
The amount of walking is at the traveler's discretion while visiting the attraction. Varying surfaces will be encountered during your tour.
Cultural, Scenic, Family Friendly
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Non-refundable if canceled within 24 hours of requested services.
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