For a glimpse of the ‘old’ Christchurch, the one relatively untouched by the devastation of the 2011 earthquake, head to the Botanic Gardens. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic by the Avon River, which puts on a floral spectacle of daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops throughout early spring. We crossed the river to walk along the Hagley Park side, which was a great opportunity to stretch our legs while Harry slept in the pram. It’s amazing how much this part of Christchurch reminded me of England. There are more sculptures to discover along this walk – keep an eye out for the giant daffodil and the hummingbird in mid-flight.
We headed back to the historic Antigua Boat Sheds for lunch, before taking a punting tour on the Avon river. It was a rather frosty winter’s day in Christchurch and rain clouds were gathering, but we were surprisingly cosy under the complimentary woollen blankets and hot-water bottles. Harry promptly fell asleep, cocooned under layers of blankets and lulled by the gentle rocking of the boat.
It’s a relaxing, peaceful journey and offered another view of Christchurch from the river: one teaming with water wildlife, flowers and blossoming trees. I can only imagine how different it would look in summer, with the green of the weeping willows reflected in the water. Our friendly punter was also extremely knowledgeable about the local wildlife and history of the area. And I highly recommend his services as a baby whisperer. The man has magic powers.
Punting on the Avon at Antigua Boat Sheds
2 Cambridge Terrace
Tel. +64 3 366 0337
Click here to read my post about Re:Start in Christchurch, including my top six shops.
Click here to read about The General Store at Re:Start in Christchurch.
Click here to read about HAPA at Re:Start in Christchurch.
Click here to read about Johnson’s Grocers at Re:Start in Christchurch.
Click here to read about Primo Cafe in Methven.