Kids Go Free in July

Archive for the ‘Attractions’ Category

Kids Go Free in July

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

The school holidays are here and we have some great deals for entertaining the kids. Kids travel for FREE on the Gondola and Tramway, whilst we have a discounted family rate for the jet boat in Hanmer.


Gondola Rides

Email - GondolaValid from Saturday 4 July to Sunday 19 July 2017 the Gondola is offering up to three children for free with each paying adult between 4-19 July inclusive. With awe-inspiring scenic views on the ride to the top of Mount Cavendish the Gondola is a great way to keep the kids entertained. Children must be 15 years or younger.


Christchurch Tramway

Email - TramDon’t forget up to three children can travel for free when accompanying a paying adult. It’s great value, and there is always something new to see in our rebuilding city centre.

Children must be 15 years or younger.

Jetboat Ride

photoshoped-jet-smallIf you would prefer the thrill of a high-speed jet boat ride, join us for an exciting adventure on the Waiau River on board our Hanmer Springs Jet during the school holidays! We’re offering a discounted family ticket rate of $249 for two adults and up to three children between 4-19 July inclusive. Bookings are essential, so check out our website for further information and and to book your tickets.




Pop into our attractions and visit us these school holidays!

Christchurch Gondola – A Unique Venue For Your Functions

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

As one of the top attractions for visitors to Christchurch, the Gondola is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike. However there’s more to the Gondola than meets the eye. Our mountain-top function rooms provide a unique venue for a range of events, including wedding receptions, conferences, business events, gala dinners, and parties.
Pinnacle Room Table

Offering spectacular scenic views across Christchurch and the Southern Alps, Gondola’s function rooms create a lasting impression with guests that is hard to beat.

With capacity for up to 200 guests and catering organised by Continental’s professional event team, all your needs will be taken care of, allowing you to relax and enjoy your event.

Gondola Wedding Photo

The stunning views of Christchurch city, the ocean, Southern Alps and Lyttelton Harbour make a wedding, dinner, conference or meeting at the top of Christchurch’s Mt Cavendish incomparable.

View our unique Gondola function venue for more information.

Christchurch Tram City Loop Re-opening Delights Cantabrian

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

The full Christchurch Tram city loop re-opened on Tuesday November 11. The beginning of Canterbury’s famed Cup and Show week, it was indeed a delight to watch the historic trams continue beyond the end of Worcester Boulevard, turning right into Rolleston Avenue and passing Canterbury Museum. Trams then turned into Armagh Street, passing Cranmer Square and crossing the Armagh Street bridge to pause at Victoria Square.

Tram - Cranmer Square

Christchurch Tram #15 passes by Cranmer Square on the re-opened city loop.

Three trams were on the track for the city loop re-opening day. Patronage was good despite it being Cup Day, and tram riders were in a festive mood. Our tram drivers (motormen) put their best foot forward, delivering enthusiastic commentaries. The auspicious event was not lost on one happy observer who penned the following letter to The Press. It appeared the next morning and became ‘Letter of the Week’, reprinted two days later in Friday’s The Press:

“I had “a moment” today – a lovely one actually.  I looked out of my office window near Victoria Square and to my delight I saw the tram trundling past.  I had to terminate my phone conversation and go outside and watch it roll towards New Regent St. On occasion, I weigh up what I feel our community has lost and what it has gained because of the earthquakes. In sombre moments, I wonder whether, in my lifetime, I will ever see us regaining even a fraction of what we have lost. It takes a lovely moment like seeing our trams returning to old territory to restore the faith that, while we have lost so much, we haven’t lost everything. I gave the tram driver the most enthusiastic thumbs-up I could muster and he gave me the biggest smile.

Christchurch I still love you. KYLIE EHRICH, Middleton.” 

Kylie completely summed up the day and we think she speaks for many Cantabrians and our increasing numbers of welcomed visitors.

Down Memory Lane

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Retirement village patrons have been jolting their memories of Christchurch’s central city. Welcome Aboard’s Christchurch Tramway has been hosting A Trip Down Memory Lane tours for local retirement complexes, with the most recent comprising 11 residents of Fendalton Retirement Village. There was no doubt that they enjoyed the experience: their smiles and comments said it all. They were informed and pampered by motorman Ken and entertained by exuberant tram host Masa. In New Regent Street they met the Wizard and his apprentice.

Rolling through Cathedral Square and onward over Worcester Street bridge and through the boulevard, bright faces took in the vistas in various stages of demolition and rebuild. The Arts Centre rebuild offered plenty of views as did the dyslexia garden and the Art Gallery under repair. Widest eyes were kept for the former Anglican Cathedral and its surrounds when returning through the Square. Back in Cathedral Junction Masa had been busy transforming the group’s tram tickets into a collection of animated origami. He presented one to each of the residents, explaining how some of them worked. A delighted woman discovered her folded paper bird had flapping wings when its tail was gently pulled. Another resident told Masa about a trip she had once taken with her husband to Otaru city in Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island.

The tour concluded with afternoon tea nearby at the delightful Seasons café. Tables were soon agreeably scattered with tea pots, steaming coffee cups and yummy slices.

A Trip Down Memory Lane tickets cost $10 per retirement home resident and include a free memento. Afternoon teas can be organised with Seasons café at residents’ own cost.

Blog Boarding

Blog Helpers

Blog Animated origami

Blog 5 Masa art

Bungy Cords – A Slender Lifeline

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Ever wondered who makes those lifeline cords essential for bungy jumpers?

I was lucky enough to visit a long attic storage room at Thrillseekers Adventures in Hanmer Springs as staffer Graham Nicholson was two hours into fabricating a new bungy cord. He said it would be finished in another four.

Rain splashes against the windows. The Waiau River is rising and looking angry. It’s the ideal day for the task Graham tells me.

“Wet days mean no interruptions.”

The long attic is also ideal. The working area has to be free of grit or other foreign objects getting in between the wraps of latex rubber. Such intrusions would cause friction and prematurely wear the cord.

Hand Making A Bungy Cord At Thrillseekers Hanmer

Graham says he has absolute confidence in his work. He will sleep well tonight knowing his new bungy cord will never fail.

“Bungy jumpers need to have confidence in our work.”

He fabricates about three new cords a year. A bungy is retired after 500 jumps and cut into short lengths to ensure it cannot be used again. The short lengths are sold as trendy souvenirs.

Bungy cords are made to cater for three weight categories. The 50 mm wide latex rubber is sourced from Singapore. The wraps are laid out at 5.7 metres before being stretched to 11 metres and turned in on itself, then tied off at four equal lengths. The strength of a cord is determined by the number of wraps. The cord being made by Graham is an intermediate strength of 24 wraps for jumpers weighing in at 63 to 80 kg. It will be identified by a red sleeve on an end bobbin.

Graham’s next task is to cross-bind the wraps. It is more cosmetic than anything but also prevents objects, including fingers, getting caught between layers of latex. He uses thin rounds of rubber, locking each cross bind with a reef knot.

Cross-Binding Bungy Cord Straps

The New Zealand bungy cord style is known as ‘exposed latex’ resulting in a softer, longer bounce.

When cross binding along the 11 metre cord is complete, the bungy will be tied to a tree and stretched in stages up to four times its length. When relaxed it will be measured and all details recorded on a spec sheet.

The final stage will be to test the cord with dummy minimum and maximum weights tumbling from the 35-metre high historic Ferry Bridge. An assistant in a jet boat will ensure the dummy weight drops no lower than three metres above the water. This is another safety issue owing to Thrillseekers not offering water dips.

“The river has rocks,” Graham wryly tells me.

He says the Thrillseekers bungy jump offers a thrilling ground rush and rebound.

Bungy Jumper Suspended From Bridge

“Some people do one jump to tick off the experience. Others become bungy jumping junkies.

“For all, sheer terror transforms into an adrenalin-induced buzz. Everyone feels so grateful after the jump,” says Graham.

Find out more about bungy jumping from the historic Ferry Bridge in Hanmer Springs with Thrillseekers Adventures and book your bungy experience today.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens Tour Now Better Than Ever

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Inspirational new Visitor Centre an interesting new Gardens Tour stop

Welcome Aboard’s popular Christchurch Botanic Gardens Tour has got even better. The reason? It now stops outside the stunning new Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. Designed to appear like a large airy glasshouse, the Visitor Centre is certainly compatible with its garden surrounds. Design of the $16.4 million complex was put out to competition and awarded to local architects Patterson Associates, with Leighs Construction the builders.

Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre

It was opened by Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on April 14, becoming the first civic complex in Christchurch to be inaugurated post-earthquakes.

Visitor Centre Opening Plaque

The new Visitor Centre provides a modern working complex for Botanic Gardens staff along with previously behind-the-scenes working displays for visitors to see. Features include a functions room overlooking the river, a fascinating exhibition about the story of Christchurch shown through plants and gardens, a working nursery, botanical library, toilets and gift shop, as well as a café scheduled to open in mid-May.

For staff, it is a far cry from their previous workplace where separate areas catered for men and women, and chicken wire covered the chimney to keep possums out.  The new centre had been planned prior to the earthquakes to coincide with the Botanic Gardens 150th anniversary, commemorated during 2013.

Caterpillar Tour Stops Outside Visitor Centre

Caterpillar Botanic Gardens Tour

This last week of April and the following week are best time to visit the Botanic Gardens to enjoy the peak of autumn. The colours are turning very well. Taking a Gardens Tour aboard the appropriately-named electric-powered Caterpillar vehicle is not just for those unable to walk around the extensive Botanic Gardens. The tour drivers/guides are a mine of fascinating information: hear the stories of the plants and trees, why one tree would puzzle a climbing monkey, the best tree from which to make a bow and arrow, which tree grown for its cork bark and see why the silver fern, symbol for some New Zealand sports teams, is so named. And of course, take some time for a self-guided tour of the new Visitor Centre. A pleasant hour can be passed there until the next Gardens Tour arrives.

New Caterpillar Tour Stop

Caterpillar Gardens Tours depart on the hour (11 am to 3 pm) from just inside the Christchurch Botanic Gardens entrance. The tour calls at the Visitor Centre on the half hour.

The Botanic Gardens' Peacock Fountain

Bungee or Bungy?

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Adventure tourism has almost the same excitement for the spectator as the participant.  It is especially good for the camera-wielding blog-writing spectator such as myself.  But penning a few words about people who jump off the Waiau Ferry Bridge at Hanmer Springs Attractions, my spell-checker became confused with the spelling of ‘bungy’ – or is it ‘bungee?’

Here’s the rundown.  Both are correct.  But ‘bungy’ is the correct term for Hanmer Springs Attractions.

‘Bungee’ was coined by the English-based Oxford Dangerous Sports Club.  The first bungee jump was made on April 1, 1979 from the impressive 76 m-high Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning Bristol’s Avon Gorge.

Inspired by the event, two Kiwi guys, AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch, created a commercial version of jumping from great heights near Queenstown in 1988.  With help from scientists at the Auckland University, they developed their elastic cord and called their new adrenalin-rush activity, ‘Bungy.’

Against expectations, their new tourist activity caught on and became a draw-card for Adventure Tourism in New Zealand.  Bungy had been put on the world map the previous year when Hackett jumped (illegally) from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  He was arrested soon after but the event proved to be a very successful publicity stunt.

Hanmer Springs Attractions has a worthy souvenir shop at its headquarters idyllically overlooking the Waiau River and nearby Ferry Bridge.  Hanmer Springs Attraction’s  boss, Neil Duncan, is a dab hand at the coffee machine.  On the counter I spotted short lengths of the 4 cm-thick bungy cord for sale ($4).  Neil tells me elastic cords are retired after 500 jumps and recycled as chopped sections for souvenirs.  My piece of bungy cord certainly makes an excellent curiosity for visitors.