Tag Archives: boating

Messing about in a boat on the Avon, in Christchurch

Although the earthquakes swept away much of Christchurch and with it many of city’s iconic attractions, some classic traditions remain. One of them is that age-old Christchurch leisure activity – boating on the Avon.

Boating on the Avon
Boating on the Avon

The Avon meanders through Hagley Park under bridges, past sculptured gardens and grassy banks overhung with weeping willows. It’s a setting that could be anywhere in England. I could be in an English storybook I think as we paddle erratically upstream, two adults and two little boys in a bright red canoe. I half expect Ratty, Mole and Toad from The Wind in Willows to come paddling round the bend towards us. But my crew mates are on a different fantasy track.

Taking to the river in a canoe is certain to unleash almost anyone’s inner brave and as we paddle upstream, the boys hurl war cries at a passing punt. “How!” replies the boater-hatted punter, raising an arm in salute and spinning his craft dangerously towards us. My husband’s latent pirate comes to the rescue “Heave ho, me hearties!” he bellows. Churning up great fans of water on all sides, we lurch into safe waters. The spirit of the river is infectious. “Ship ahoy!” we shout to other river-folk! “Ahoy, land lubbers!” we call to watchers on the bank. “Ahoy there!” they shout back.

As they say in The Wind in the Willows, “there’s nothing like messing about in boats” And happily, in spite of everything, you can still mess about in a boat on the Avon.

Rotorua Adventures

To many, Rotorua is a thermal wonderland, a mecca of Maori culture and the heart of the lakes district. To others it is an amazing adventure playground.

Messing about in boats on Lake Rotorua
Messing about in boats on Lake Rotorua

No matter which particular type of death-defying feat you’re after, Rotorua has them all and then some.

The Bungy-jump is an imperative for true the adrenalin-junkie and of course Rotorua offers its own unique bungy possibilities, like the cliff ledge leap!!!.

There are rivers with miles of wild rapids for those who want the thrill of white water rafting. If that doesn’t satisfy the thirst for thrills, try white water sledging, crashing downstream on a vamped up boogie board.

Sky-divers, bored with benign skies and gentle landscapes can try dropping into the crater of a lightly slumbering Volcano.

Hikers, bikers and trampers can test their mettle on any number of bush tracks, from painless to perilous.

Crazy braves can career down the luge. This high-speed, totally out of control hurtle down a cutting in the steep side of Mount Ngongotaha is guaranteed to deliver an adrenalin rush you’ll never forget.

Then there’s zorbing. Spread-eagled inside a giant transparent ball, the zorber is rolled head over heels down a slope until he comes he comes to a standstill. Afficianados say it’s the ultimate thrill.

And finally, when you can take no more and need a gentle come down, there’s always a bit of messing about in boats on any one of the lakes.