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Published August 22nd 2013
Take a punt in our Royal Botanic Gardens
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Punting on Avon River in Christchurch, Author Roger Wong
This is so very Oxford or Cambridge. So very Edwardian.
It is also such a brilliant idea that I am surprised no-one came up with it before. Perhaps because we usually associate punts with rivers.
But the huge ornamental lake in the Botanic Gardens is just perfect for the traditional pastime of punting.
Ornamental Lake Botanic Gardens Source: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne www.rbg.vic.gov.au
Think of it: the sun on your back, gliding over still waters, in and out of various coves and sanctuaries, drifting under foliage. You are in the midst of the city but surrounded by tranquillity.
The 30 minute tours are being offered by Punt Tours Melbourne a new company where the punters wear traditional blazers and straw boaters.
They will give expert commentary on the history, wildlife, aquatic plants and other botanic delights of the Gardens.
The three wooden punts have been hand-crafted from Jarrah and Victorian Ash and are in the classic Cambridge design characterised by a flat bottom without a keel and propelled by a 5m pole known as a 'quant'.
They were built in Christchurch, NZ from Australian timber by an Australian boat builder and weigh 300kg.
Nicki Baird from Punt Tours Melbourne said the team "were grateful to the City of Melbourne, which provided a small business start-up grant to help us establish the business."
Tours begin in spring and depart from the front of the Terrace and cruise around the lake's islands and bays.
Photo Wikipedia - This was taken on the Avon River but gives you some idea of what punting is all about