Punting on the Avon

Experience the best garden and urban scenery in Christchurch from the calm waters of the River Avon.

Sit back and enjoy the relaxing experience of Punting on the Avon. Look at the bright, blossoming gardens, attractive bridges and views across the city as you glide gently over the water in a flat-bottomed boat guided by a punter poling down the stream. Ask your guide about the areas you see and learn about the history of Christchurch from the comfort of the boat’s soft, velvet seats.

Set off along the Avon with an Edwardian punter guiding you slowly past a mixture of city landmarks and peaceful woodland. To either side of you grassy banks meet the water while weeping willows reach out above your head. Pass beneath historic stone bridges and watch as people play and relax in sun-drenched parkland.

A highlight of the trip is the boat’s pass through Christchurch’s famous Botanic Gardens. Displays of bright flowers stand out from the green shrubs while aquatic plants poke their heads above the waterline. Identify a range of native and exotic plants and catch a glimpse of the famous greenhouses.

Farther downriver boats pass through the heart of the city. Look on as people bustle along the streets and view the city’s skyline. As you glide across the water your guide will point out landmarks and explain how the river has played an influential role in the development of Christchurch. The trip provides an interesting perspective on the various rebuilding projects underway after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Punting on the Avon trips depart from two locations along the river. Launch from the historic Antigua Boat Shed and head off past the Botanic Gardens and North Hagley Park or go from Worcester Street Bridge through the city. All tours last approximately 30 minutes. Boats can accommodate up to 10 people. Couples and families are welcome although it is worth booking ahead if you are coming with a large group. The admission fee includes commentary from your guide as well as use of blankets, umbrellas and hot water bottles depending on weather conditions.