The Avon is a calm river, and activities enjoyed on and around it are equally chilled out. As well as just admiring it from the central-city parks through which it runs, a popular activity is to go on a sightseeing boat ride. The gentle waters are well-suited to punting, and tourists can ride with a guide kitted-out in twee English dress and hat. Another way to see the Avon is from a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tram through central Christchurch.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The water quality in Avon is poor, so swimming isn’t recommended.
- Look out for the sculpture by English sculptor Antony Gormley along the Avon’s banks.
- Parts of the Avon are popular with fishing enthusiasts, but there are restrictions on where you can fish in the central city.
How to Get There
The Avon runs through central Christchurch, so is difficult to miss when in that part of the city. To visit the wetlands at the Avon Heathcote Estuary, the easiest mode of transport is to drive yourself about 20 minutes east of the city. Public transit could get you there, but it’d take more than an hour.
When to Get There
You can visit the Avon River at any time, although walking and punting are more pleasant when the sun is shining and the weather warm, roughly between October and April.
Christchurch and surrounding areas experienced two devastating earthquakes in late 2010 and early 2011. The memorial on the banks of the Avon River commemorates the 185 people who died. Located on both banks of the river, each side is different, with trees, gardens, and seating on the north bank, and a memorial wall on the south bank. It can be located downstream from the Montreal Street Bridge.
- Canterbury Museum
- Christchurch Arts Centre
- Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial
- Christchurch Tram
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens
- Hagley Park
- New Regent Street
- Bridge of Remembrance
- Transitional Cathedral (Cardboard Cathedral)
- Cashel Street
- The Court Theatre
- TranzAlpine Train
- Mona Vale
- Air Force Museum of New Zealand
- International Antarctic Centre