Skip to content


4 Epic Ways To Experience The Ōtākaro Avon River

4 Epic Ways To Experience

The Ōtākaro Avon River

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the… Ōtākaro Avon River! Ok, that may not be the original nursery rhyme, but it just so happens to be an epic way to explore Ōtautahi Christchurch from a new perspective.

The historic river meanders through the heart of our city and boasts a boat-load of activities that are perfect for the whole family or those seeking a romantic adventure.

From paddling and punting to wakas and kayaks, discover why the Ōtākaro Avon River is central to Ōtautahi Christchurch’s identity.

Christchurch Punting On The Avon

Punting On The Avon

Punting on the Avon River is a luxurious way to discover Christchurch’s vibrant city centre. Sit back, unwind and let your skilled punter in Edwardian attire do the rest as you glide down the river, passing by the tranquil Botanic Gardens and various river wildlife along the way. Departing from the historic Antigua Boat Sheds, this iconic experience is not one to miss.

Christchurch People Enjoying the Banks of the Avon River

Airborn Paddling

There’s no need to hit the beach when Airborn Paddling offers New Zealand’s first through-city stand-up paddle boarding experience on the Ōtākaro Avon River! Starting at the Botanic Gardens, the 3.2km route explores the changing face of Christchurch’s inner city while surrounded by lush flora and fauna. From Morning Missions, Evening Energisers to stand-up board meetings, the Avon River is a natural hydroslide for paddleboard learning.

Explore Airborn Paddling
Waka On The Avon

Waka On Avon

Travel 180 years back in time as you paddle along the Avon River in a hand-crafted waka. As told by Waka on Avon, you’ll hear stories of how the traditional boats were used by Māori for transport and trade, working alongside European settlers to build the city of Ōtautahi Christchurch. Leaving from Margaret Mahy Playground, it’s the perfect activity for any occasion.  

Explore Waka On Avon
Christchurch Antigua Boatsheds

Hire A Boat

Choose your own adventure by hiring a single or double kayak from the Antigua Boat Sheds. Whether you’re flying solo or sharing the experience, prepare to soak in the peaceful sights and sounds of the river as it flows beneath you. The Sheds also have pedal boats and Canadian canoes for hire all year long.

Explore Boat Hire