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History of Punting

What Is A Punt?

A punt is a flat bottomed boat that does not have a keel. Typically, a punt is 6 to 8 m long and about a metre wide. A pole about 5 metres long pushes against the river bed to move and steer the punt. This method of propulsion is known as punting. Using a paddle to move along does not qualify!

There’s more to punting than pushing a pole. The basic techniques seem rather simple and you might learn in half an hour. But to master the technique takes longer. To punt without losing your balance, getting wet, or wetting your passengers, does take practice.

The oblong punt originated as a simple barge – a river wheelbarrow for transporting all kinds of materials. In early days the operator dropped the pole to the bottom, leaned on it, and then ran the length of the punt, pushing the deck under his feet. It was a method that often left the novice clinging to their pole while the punt drifted away on its own.

In the 1880's punts became recreational. Passengers lounged in luxury, sheltering beneath parasols. “Running the punt” became impractical, and the Oxford method developed. The punter stands on a platform at the stern and skilfully pushes backwards on the pole.  The pleasure punts of today flourish at Cambridge and Oxford on rivers protected for them in England. In New Zealand you will find punts on the Avon River in Christchurch and also in Nelson.

Read about our punts here >>

Make the most of your day! — Consider these itineraries

Half day itinerary

Experience the tranquility of Hagley Park, or the changing face of Christchurch as you go Punting through the ‘red zone’. We’ll keep you snug with rugs and hot water bottles in winter, and in all seasons be sure to bring a coat in case you need it! To complete your half day take a Caterpillar Botanic Gardens Tour on board our electric ‘Caterpillar’ shuttle and ride to the top of the hills on The Christchurch Gondola to take in the fantastic views. All three options can be experienced by purchasing our combos, saving you money and time!

Full day itinerary

Experience Christchurch with us! Board our luxury coach for an interactive and fun guided tour of Christchurch. Our driver will pick you up from your accommodation on request. Let us show you the best Christchurch has to offer; beautiful parks and gardens, quaint seaside suburbs and superb views of the city and surrounds.

Your tour also includes Christchurch’s four premium attractions – Punting on the Avon, The Christchurch Gondola, The Caterpillar Botanic Gardens Tour, and The Christchurch Tram . It’s the very best way to enjoy Christchurch at the best price!

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Two day itinerary

On day one experience Christchurch with us! Board our luxury Grand Tour coach for an interactive and fun guided tour of Christchurch. Our driver will pick you up from your accommodation on request. Let us show you the best Christchurch has to offer; beautiful parks and gardens, quaint seaside suburbs and superb views of the city and surrounds.

Your tour also includes Christchurch’s four premium attractions – Punting on the Avon, The Christchurch Gondola, Caterpillar Botanic Gardens Tour and The Christchurch Tram . It’s the very best way to enjoy Christchurch at the best price!

The next day take the Hanmer Connection shuttle bus to Hanmer Springs (ph 0800 242 663). Your 90 minute journey passes through beautiful scenery and you can be delivered to the Thrillseekers river base or directly to the town centre. Thrillseekers Adventures has something for everybody! Jet Boat the entire length of the spectacular Waiau River Gorge. Enjoy our relaxed Rafting trip, suitable for families. Bungy jump from the 135 year old Ferry Bridge. Challenge the terrain, with river crossings, dust, dirt and excitement on a Quad Bike. Challenge a friend to Paintball or go Claybird Shooting with a real shotgun. Then head to the town on our free shuttle and bask in the famous hot pools at the end of your day! Return to Christchurch on the Hanmer Connection or stay longer and do more….

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Take a tranquil ride along the River Avon

through Hagley Park, or the ‘Red Zone’

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Triple Pass savings

Book the Tram, Gondola and Punting combo

Save time and money

Book now »

Book online 7 days in advance and save 10%

an image Punting Prices
Adult $25
Child (5-15 years) $12
Child (under 5 years) FREE

Family
(2 adults, up to 3 children)

$65

 

an image Quick Information
Punting duration: 30mins
Meet at Antigua Boat Sheds or Worcester Street Bridge

 

Current time in New Zealand:6:51 PM Saturday 19 April