Certainly one of the best ways to view the wonderful sites of Christchurch is from the beautiful Avon River. Winding its way through central Christchurch, along the lush Botanic Gardens and within sight of several of the city's historic structures, the Avon offers a unique vantage point on which to enjoy this lovely city. And what better way to take it all in than a punting excursion down this inviting river.
A Punter refers to a boater who stands on a platform at the back of a long flat-bottom boat, guiding it along the waterway with a long pole. Punting down the Avon is one of the most delightful tourist attractions in Christchurch and is a must for any visitor. Not only is it a great way to see the city, but the relaxing journey through the quiet, natural setting is a truly memorable experience and one of the best ways to see the beauty of the city and much of its flora and fauna.
The punters are dressed in handsome period costumes taking visitors back to an age when many of Christchurch's most historic structures were just being built or at least still quite new, thus adding an aura of history and a little sentimentality to the peaceful excursion. Passengers sit low in the boat on comfortable cushioned benches while the experienced punter meanders past gorgeous park land, under historic bridges, and near interesting bird life. Even on colder days or in periods of rain, the journey is still a delight as warm blankets and umbrellas are provided.
There are two landing sites, both located in Central Christchurch near the cultural precinct. The Avon River circuit takes about 30 minutes. Larger punts hold up to a maximum of 10 people.