Revel in a tranquil boat ride as you go punting along the Avon River in Christchurch. The flat-bottomed boat, designed for small rivers and shallow water, is operated by a punter who uses a long pole to propel you across the water. Dressed in a traditional Edwardian costume, your punter shares informative commentary about Christchurch history and the sights you pass.
Sidle up to your sweetie for a romantic ride, or take friends or family to enjoy the sights and history of Christchurch from the Avon River. Admire wispy willows that line the banks of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, among other scenic sights, on your 30-minute boat ride. And don't worry about the weather: Blankets, umbrellas and hot water bottles are provided to keep you comfortable in all seasons. Traditionally riders sit on low cushioned seats, however higher seating can be provided as needed.
Read on if you would like to upgrade for more Christchurch activities to pair with your punting experience.
Punting and Botanic Gardens
Upgrade to include a tour of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Spanning some 52 acres (21 hectares) of land next to the Avon River, the gardens house an extensive collection of exotic and native plants. An electric-powered caterpillar shuttle takes you through the gardens, and allows you to hop on and off as you like. The onboard guide shares fascinating facts about the plant life. You can visit the large greenhouse to see banana trees and other tropical plants, stroll through the circular Rose Garden, and smell the herbs in the Blind Garden.
Punting and Gondola
Opt to include the Christchurch Gondola ride with your punting tour. The gondola cabin is equipped with large windows so that you can soak up the views on a ride to the top of the Crater Rim of the Port Hills. The inactive Crater Rim volcano offers great views over Christchurch, including Lyttelton's harbor, the Southern Alps and the ocean. You can also check out an exhibit about the ancient history of these mountains and enjoy a snack in front of large windows in a cafe.
Punting, Tram, Gardens and Gondola
Includes all of the above plus a tour through Christchurch's city center aboard the beautifully restored Christchurch Tram. The tram tour combines history and sightseeing as your friendly and knowledgeable driver informs you about the landmarks and top sights. Stops include Punting on the Avon, Christchurch Botanic Gardens, the Art Gallery, the Gothic-style Arts Centre, and the Canterbury Museum. Your daylong ticket allows you to hop on and off the Tram at any of its seven stops.