The Avon River – named by the Deans Brothers in 1849 – started its life during New Zealand’s last ice age. That would have been around 18,000 to 25,000 years ago. Fed by water that flows under the Canterbury Plains, it is also helped along by winter snow melting off the Southern Alps, rain fall and these days, storm drains. At the length of 26kms, it begins (above ground) in Avonhead (Head of the Avon), flows through Ilam, Riccarton, Fendalton, Hagley Park, the CBD, Avonside, Dallington, Avondale, Aranui and Sumner – flowing out to sea at the Avon Heathcote Estuary. By 1870, a mere 20 years after the arrival of the first four immigrant ships, the Avon River was stated to be too polluted to drink from and bath in - Just 20 years!!!!