Back to the main page Aoraki Dragon Boat
Association (Inc)
Christchurch, NZ

Click these tabs to see the Aoraki training sites. See also "Introductory sessions"

Lake Pegasus, north Canterbury

D Day Lake Pegasus Start Off the Water Contact
2 Tuesday Tu Meke 18:30 19:30 Pete Mitchell
3 Wednesday Rangiora HS 16:45 17:45  
3 Wednesday Waimak Attack 18:15 19:45 Rick Smith
3 Wednesday Waimak Thunder 18:15 19:45 Marie Childs
7 Sunday Rangiora HS late afternoon    
7 Sunday Waimak Attack late afternoon   Rick Smith
7 Sunday Waimak Thunder late afternoon   Marie Childs
7 Sunday Ridge Riders 17:00 18:00 Izak Frunt

There are four boats at Lake Pegasus at the moment (Oct-16).

If you need access to the boats, contact Rick Smith for the padlock codes etc. Which is yet another reason to let Aoraki know when your team wants to train at Lake Pegasus or Lake Rua or Owles Terrace.

There are 4 boats at Pegasus at the moment (plus a trolley):

  • two Champion 20-paddler and
  • two Swift 10-Man


Lake Rua (part of "Roto Kohatu")

D Day Lake Rua/Roto Kohatu Start Off the Water Contact
1 Monday Chch Girls HS 16:30 18:00 Ben Afitu
1 Monday Aurecon Avengers 17:30 18:30 James Lynch
1 Monday Otautahi PC 18:00 19:00 Michelle Hamilton
1 Monday Sampan Warriors 18:30 19:30 Rosie Mehlhopt
2 Tuesday Catholic Cathedral College (alt w Owles) 15:45 17:00 Glen Dickie
2 Tuesday Otautahi PC 18:00 19:30 Michelle Hamilton
2 Tuesday Abreast of Life 18:00 19:00 Peter PJ Johnson
2 Tuesday ABOL Amazon Hearts 18:30 19:30 Noel Anderton
2 Tuesday Airways Paddlateers 18:30 19:30 Noel Anderton
3 Wednesday Hillmorton HS 15:00 17:00 Andrea Kendrew
3 Wednesday St Thomas of Canterbury College TBC   Andy Jones
3 Wednesday Chch Girls HS 16:30 18:00 Ben Afitu
3 Wednesday Kaiapoi High School 15:00 16:15  
3 Wednesday Northern Phoenix 18:30 19:30 Julie Schofield
4 Thursday St Margarets College TBC    
4 Thursday Otautahi 18:00 19:30 Michelle Hamilton
4 Thursday Abreast of Life (occasionally) 18:00 19:00 Peter PJ Johnson
4 Thursday ABOL Amazon Hearts (occasionally) 18:00 19:00 Noel Anderton
5 Friday Riccarton HS (Mixed) 16:00 17:00 Rick Harlow
6 Saturday Otautahi 10:00 11:00 Michelle Hamilton
7 Sunday Northern Phoenix 16:15 17:30 Julie Schofield

Another popular site is "Lake Rua" which is just north of Johns Rd, near the Airport. This makes it very handy for teams like Airways and Aurecon Engineering. And especially handy for the School teams like St Margarets, Riccarton and Hillmorton. Aoraki is grateful to CCC Park Ranger Arthur Adcock for allowing us (and Kore Sailing and one or two other groups) to use the smaller of the lakes at Roto Kohatu.

NOTE: during summer, Lake Rua has Boats beside the containers that you can use. We now have a 40 foot container at the lake and so use the standard Combination number to get into the side door of the yellow container for the sweep oars, life jackets, safety gear etc. If you have forgotten your paddles you may borrow the ones in the container but please return them. There are several boats at Lake Rua at the moment - multiple Champion 20-paddler boats and usually a Swift 10-Man boat -see below.

NOTE: There is a DETOUR in place. Access to Greywacke Rd WAS directly off Johns Rd (OPPOSITE the Harewood Crematorium). But since the road widening work, we now have to enter from Sawyers Arms Rd:

  • From Johns Rd roundabout, head north on Sawyers Arms Rd
  • Go just past the Highway Inn (on your left)
  • Continue past Logistics Drive/Greywacke Road.
  • On your right is the old entrance to Lake Roto Kohatu (Gate 1 may be locked - team managers can ask Aoraki for a key).
  • Drive over the hill and past "Lake Roto Kohatu" (it is actually Lake Tahi). Gate 2 is at the top of the hill - drive slowly down the hill - there are blind corners.
  • Take care driving past the small Water Polo lake, especially on Tuesday afternoons.
  • Just before the causeway, there is Gate 3. Note, there doesn't seem to be a padlock on this gate.
  • Drive along the SE side towards the containers.

Access Lake Rua via the Sawyers Arms entrance to the JetSki lake

Teams launch from this end of the lake (Eastern end) This is our 250 metre sprint start line
Teams launch from this end of the lake (North Eastern end) This is our 250 metre sprint start line
Plenty of shelter for training in nearly all conditions Plenty of parking for training paddlers, or on race days
Plenty of shelter for training in nearly all conditions ... and ample parking for training paddlers, or on race days.

Owles Terrace, New Brighton

D Day Avon River Start Off the Water Contact
1 Monday Chch Girls HS 16:30 18:00 Ben Afitu
2 Tuesday Avonside Girls HS 06:00 07:30 Evan Roper
2 Tuesday Catholic Cathedral College (alt w Rua) 15:30 17:00  
2 Tuesday Shirley Boys HS 17.30   Russell Stocks
2 Tuesday Marian College 17.30 18:30 Ian Stothers
2 Tuesday Beca Crewsaders 18:00 19:00 Ian Macbeth
2 Tuesday Tu Meke (alt w Pegasus) 18:30 19:030 ish Pete Mitchell
2 Tuesday Ridge Riders 18:30 19:30 Izak Frunt
3 Wednesday Chch Girls HS 16:30 18:00 Ben Afitu
3 Wednesday Aurecon Avengers 17:30   James Lynch
4 Thursday Avonside Girls HS 06:00 07:30 Evan Roper
4 Thursday Shirley Boys HS 16:00   Russell Stocks
4 Thursday Marian College 17.30 18:30 Ian Stothers
4 Thursday St Margarets College TBC    
4 Thursday Abreast of Life BCS 18:00 19:00 Peter PJ Johnson
4 Thursday ABOL Amazon Hearts 18:00 19:00 Noel Anderton
4 Thursday Ridge Riders 18:30 19:30 Izak Frunt
6 Saturday ABOL BCS 09:00 10:00 PJ
7 Sunday Beca Crewsaders 10:00 11:00 Ian Macbeth

Of course Teams generally prefer to train closer to their home, so training on the Avon River appeals to many. Long term storage of Aoraki gear (at the old CCC Maintenance Yard in Owles Terrace, in New Brighton) means city teams/those in the east have a handy venue.

Aoraki Dragons collaborate with "New Brighton Waka Sports Association" to use the ex-CCC maintenance yard next to the Avon River, with access from Owles Terrace (at the Pages Rd end).

Even when Ecan says the polution is no worse than before the earthquake, Aoraki does NOT RECOMMEND paddling in the Avon. Rua and Pegasus water is cleaner than Avon on a good day. But some teams have taken full responsibility for the health and safety of their paddlers, and Aoraki makes the boats available provided they can be safely transported to the water (ie negotiate the badly damaged ramps and obstacles) AND provide safe storage.

Kaiapoi River, North Canterbury

D Day Kaiapoi River Start Off the Water Contact
3 Wednesday Kaiapoi HS (Mixed) - times are tide dependent 15:00 16:15  

Aoraki has moved the boat from the compound by the Kaiapoi River to Lake Rua.

Loading ramp

The above picture shows the loading ramp from the fenced compound, to the Kaiapoi River - take care, it can be very slippery.

This boat has long since moved to Greymouth, but for some time it lived in the fenced compound.

On the water training is as shown in the tabs (one hour slots), at Lake Rua, Pegasus or Owles Terrace, New Brighton.

NEWS - Coach the Coaches

Aoraki ran a very useful training day at the end of August. Aimed at any team coaches, new or experienced, Rick Smith coordinated the session at Airways in Russley on Sunday 30th August from 10 am to 2 pm (lunch provided). Topics included The essence of coaching • Motivating for performance • Getting a team started • Teaching the basics • Developing a coaching plan for each session and for the season • Setting Goals and measuring progress • Working with a school team: How to make it easy for new schools • Taking a team from social to competitive. Presenters included the highly energetic Marg Foster (of and the ex Netball Player and Coach for Canterbury Flames and the Silver Ferns) and our local experts Evan Roper, Rick Smith and Russell Stocks.

Sweep Training and Accreditation

Each season Aoraki runs Sweep training, which consists of a theory session (in a classroom) and practical session(s) at Lake Pegasus. Email to register. For exxample on 3rd and 10th Ocober 2015 from 11 am at Lake Pegasus, candidates were Sharon Henderson (CCC), Kyle Treacy (Tu Meke), Shaun Butler (P1) and Laura Ross (Waimak).

Regular season

Official start to Training is after Labour Weekend (eg 27-October-15). Teams should email with their request for 'training slots', and also when they know of any changes (including cancellations). Please ensure your crew are fully familiar with the safety protocol (esp 5.10 to 5.20).

How long can I train for?

NZDBA have lifted the restrictions on the number of training sessions that any team can have. In the past, Corporates have been limited to 10 sessions per season. NZ Dragon Boat season ends at the end of March/ early April, and starts again after Labour Weekend.

'Designated' training starts after Labour Weekend (ie late October). There will be about 7 weeks before the Aoraki Ice Breaker (early December) and another week or so training before the Christmas break. Training resumes about a week into the new year (about 10-Jan). This will allow about eight weeks training before the South Island Champs (early March), and another one or two before the Nationals. This gives about 19 weekly sessions.

Winter training

Note, teams may continue their training over winter if they wish - please email

Where are the boats at?

Over winter, the boats all go back to Owles Terrace, New Brighton. But after Cob Web Blaster (end of September) Aoraki moves the small Swift Boats (10-paddler) and Champion (20-paddler) Boats to training venues as follows. HOWEVER, beware that they may be shifted in the days before a regatta (eg from Thursday or earlier).

Loc Champion 20 man Swift 10 man Trolleys
Owles 6 2 3
Rua 5 1 1
Pegasus 2 2 1

One of the Champion 20-Man boats (the CPC Canterbury Paddling Club boat) has been loaned to Nelson on a long term basis - free for them to use so long as it is actively used for paddling, training or racing. Some old boats have 'gone south’. One was in the maintenance compound at Lake Hood, but they will 'retire' it to the children's playground - a brilliant idea.  Another has gone to Dunedin. And the 'graffitti boat' has been in Greymouth since Dec 2012. A fourth old boat is on semi-permanent loan to the Tipu Tai-Tama Voyaging Trust. Note that three of the "Champions" belong to teams. These black boats have been bought by Tu Meke, CPC and Abreast of Life, so please use a red boat in preference.

See also Water Safety and Training tips. Also Training for Sweeps and Coaches.

Affiliated to NZDBA