Ōtākaro/Avon River

Running through the heart of Christchurch, the Ōtākaro/Avon River is a great source of recreation for walkers and boaters.

Botanic Gardens Avon River punting 1000501resize

COVID-19 update on parks and tracks

The Government is asking for everyone to stay at home. Their advice is that you can go for a walk or exercise outdoors for a short time, and to stick to simple walks or exercise spots close to home. 

When you are out, you must stay two metres away from anyone who is not in your household.

Parks and cemeteries are open for pedestrian access only, and where possible we have closed off park car parks.  Please do not use any play equipment or exercise equipment.

The following are closed:

  • Public toilets
  • Playgrounds, play equipment or exercise equipment in parks
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • Car parks within parks are closed for vehicle access
  • Visitor and information centres, i.e. Bottle Lake Forest and Travis Wetland
  • The Spencer Park animal area
  • Fenced dog parks, including Horseshoe Lake, The Groynes and Styx Mill Reserve. All other parks are available to exercise dogs in
  • All Council-owned sports facilities e.g clubrooms

The Ōtākaro/Avon River begins at a spring source in Avonhead and filters out to sea via the Estuary of the Heathcote and Avon Rivers/Ihutai. 

A popular recreational waterway for residents and tourists, the river runs through the city centre. Commercial punting is popular in a number of locations, kayaks and peddle boats can be hired from the Antigua Boat Sheds(external link) and there are many pathways running alongside the river to walk, run and cycle on. 

Meandering through Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens River Walk, Hagley River Walk, Little Hagley Walk and Millbrook Reserve Walk all follow alongside the Otakaro/Avon and offer stunning scenery in all seasons. 

The river also passes through many areas of significance such as Riccarton Bush, Mona Vale and Victoria Square. The Avon-Ōtākaro Network(external link) is working on a number of projects to revitalise the banks of the Ōtākaro/Avon and create a city-to-sea river park for all to enjoy.