Sheila & Terry's New Zealand special holiday travel blog

Punting down the river Avon in Christchurch

After a day and night of rain/sleet/hail we were reminded of how lucky we had been with the weather the past fortnight in the south Island. The campsite was covered in very large puddles (almost ponds) everywhere and it was still raining in the morning and very cold.

By 10am it was not so bad so we set off on the bikes to cycle into the city. The evening before on the way in we had found that there was a cycle track alongside the river (river Avon) which meandered across the flat edge of Canterbury plain on which Christchurch is built. We hoped if we could find it again it would eventually lead us to the city centre as the map had the river meandering through the city. Our plans worked and we were not disappointed arriving in the centre after a lovely cycle along the river.

Christchurch is a a very green city with wide roads and lots of green parks. It is not confined by space as Wellington and Dunedin are with their mountains behind and Auckland is from being on a narrow isthmus between the two seas. Christchurch has a very gentile feel about it and through Hagley Park beside the central cathedral square you see people being punted lazily up and down the river. There were signs of spring everywhere... daffodils dancing in the breeze and weeping willow trees just showing pale green leaves.

We also came across a model yatch race around a medium sized lake. There was a group of men (senior citizens!!!) with remote comtrolled yatchs and there was a race starter with a horn and then off they went manouvering the yatchs round bouys walking briskly round the edge of the large lake with their large aerials and remote controls.It looked quite comical but they were having great fun and getting some exercise at the same time.

We really enjoyed the day in the city for a change and the sun shone again for most of the time even if there was a cold wintry feel about the wind.

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