The tours from the Antigua Boatsheds – called Punting in the Park – are not the only option for such guided boat trips on the Avon.
Other tours start at the Worcester Boulevard bridge (beside the badly damaged and heavily secured red-brick building of Our City-O-Tautahi, about half-way between Cathedral Square and the Art Gallery). You have to walk a little detour at the moment and cross the Avon on the Gloucester Street bridge adjacent to the Provincial Chambers. There are signs, so you cannot miss it.
The business has just re-opened on 17 August 2012, and the tours now lead into the Red Zone (while the tours starting at the Antigua Boatsheds are more romantic, leading through the Botanic Garden).
In summer tours operate between 9am and 6pm, in winter from 10am to 4pm. You get tickets directly at the landing stage. There is a bench, and mostly a historically dressed service person.
Adults NZ$ 25
Children NZ$ 12
Family (2 adults and 3 children between 5 and 15 years) NZ$ 65.
Address: Corner Worcester Boulevard/Oxford Terrace
Phone (03) 353 5994
No tours from Mona Vale at the moment!
The other business offering punting at the Mona Vale Homestead in Riccarton does not operate at the moment, as Mona Vale has suffered earthquake damage.
The landing is in the beautiful garden of this homestead which is a preferred wedding location. I have seen brides arrive in a punting boat, and the groom waiting at the landing. Really very romantic ;-) The rose garden, fern grove and lily pond are very nice features of this park-like setting.
Address: 63 Fendalton Road, Riccarton
Phone (03) 348 9669
(Do not click on the picnic hamper link - it made my server crash!)
Tourists absolutely love punting on the Avon – meaning: leaning back in the boats and let somebody else do the work. People cannot even be stopped by rain. They just cuddle together on the red velvet cushions under large golf umbrellas.
The great thing: Despite the earthquakes, punting on the Avon starting at the Antigua Boatsheds has never really stopped. It was one of the first activities that resumed fairly quickly.
Christchurch’s gondolieri - called punters – wear Edwardian costumes and do not sing “O sole mio”. But the tours on the Avon are romantic, as this little river meanders through the Botanic Gardens and into the northern city, along beautiful flowering shrubs and trees, under weeping willows and nice parks, past Town Hall and the Ferrier Fountains, and everywhere you will see lots of cute ducks, from mallards, to paradise shellducks (the female has a white head), and scaups (a small diving species). Right now in spring they have their first clutch of chicks – absolutely cute ;-)
Tours start at the not less romantic looking Antigua Boatsheds. Those green and white striped boatsheds – measuring 27 by 9 metres – were built in 1882 by two Lyttelton boat builders named Albert Shaw and J. T. Tidd. The name originates from the location near the Antigua Street bridge.
In summer reservations for the tours are recommended.
A ride takes 30 minutes and costs $20 for adults and $10 for children (as 2007), minimum charge $33 (only essential if you are alone or an adult with one child). The tours are operated on non-share basis, which means you have the boat for your party alone. Boats for up to six and the big ones for up to twelve people.
You can also hire a canoe, kayak or rowing boat if you want to exercise your own muscles a little bit.
Open daily except Christmas Day, 9am – 6pm in summer, and 10am to 4pm in winter.
The boatsheds also have a nice café at their very quiet location. Great food, great coffee, nice seating. To me they have the best coffee in Christchurch.
While I had never heard of the word "Punting" referring to anything other than the kick of a football or rugby ball, I have now come to learn that Punting is the act of propelling a punt (flat bottomed boat) with a pole, down a river without falling in, or causing the other passengers to get wet. It also requires that the other passengers enjoy the ride, so this may be more difficult than something you want to master on your own. Luckily for you, there are several places in which you can hire out a punter. A punter is very similar to a gondolier in Italy, who will wear a nice suit whilst punting you along the Avon.
During our trip, it was a little too cold to punt, however there were several couples taking part in the punt.
Adult NZD$20.00 per person
Child (5-15 yrs) NZD$10.00 per person
-Tickets are valid for one 30 minute guided tour.
-Children under 5 years travel free of charge.
-Punts depart on demand.
-Each punt is equipped with large umbrellas and warm blankets.
-Bookings are essential. 50% cancellation fee for cancellation within 2 hours of departure time. No fee for cancellation due to bad weather.
-Contact Us for special group rates & discounts.
There are two ways you can do this. 1) From the Antigua Boat sheds- Punting in the park or 2) From near the war memorial bridge - Punting on the Avon.
We chose punting in the park. It costs $16.50 per person for a 1/2 hour punt. It takes you through the botanic gardens surrounded by flowers and ducks on the river. It is a perfectly relaxing way to spend a sunny day.
Punting on Avon River is one of the major attraction in Christchurch.
You can hire a punt and tour the Avon River. Just sit back and relax as you will be drifting along through parks and gardens and greenery. Each punt is custom built and the boatperson will do all the work. All you have to do is enjoy the ride.
We did not take a ride on the punt because it is very slow.
We first came across punting at Mona Vale. It will be very relaxing to drift along this beautiful private garden and come up close to those beautifully landscaped houses.
The best way to experience the lovely parklands that line the pastoral (in the romantic notion of the word) Avon River is to sit back and relax and enjoy punting. I had planned to do a 30 minute punt (NZ$18, Sep '06) from the Worcester Street bridge, but the morning I had set aside for this was a chilly stinker, with drizzle falling. Punting down the Avon may not have been so enjoyable. I did snap this picture of a passing punt (is that the word for the water craft involved?) when I was dashing around the botanical gardens between seminars and workshops while I was at a conference in Christchurch.
The Avon River which runs through Christchurch's Botanical Gardens is absolutely stunning, and when we saw people boating on it, we couldn't resist giving it a go. There are 3 options if you want to take a boat out on the river: you can relax as someone takes you out punting for 30-60 minutes; you can rent either single or double canoes; or you can rent a pedalo. We went for the canoe option, and spent a rather hilarious hour trying, very unsuccessfully, to master the art of paddling in a straight line! We rented from a company called Antigua Boat Sheds, and it cost us $14 to hire a double canoe for an hour. They also rent out paddle boats ($14 per half hour) and row boats ($12 per half hour).
One of the best things to do in Christchurch is to do punting on the beautiful Avon River. It is a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. You can also do canoeing along this river, which runs through the city.
Walk west down Worcester Boulevard and you'll cross the lovely river Avon, which meanders through the city under willows and arched bridges. There is where The Punting On Avon and Punting In The Park start their tours. The tour itself is quite expensive, NZ$20 for 30 minutes only, but it gives an enchanting experience.
The Gondola cost $ 19 return. There is a resuraunt, cafe and gift shop up the top. The views are spectacular. It can be very windy up there so take a beanie and jacket.
We went on a ride along the Avon, which flow right through the center of the city. It was pretty relaxing ride and you can see the people enjoying themselves along thw Avon.
I didn't actually try this, because I think it would great for a romantic couple....
It looks like it would be a great way to relax and see the river, and the Botanical Gardens.
Really wanted to do this but unfortunately - the crowds where jz too long.
The fares are NZ 12.00 for a 1/2 hr session and it looks real fun.