Arthur's Pass


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Published: March 5th 2007
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Arthur's Pass



Arthur's Pass
Andy Newton
Buenos!

This blog/set of pictures is from the last day of the Mt. Cook/Fox Glacier camping trip. After leaving Fox Glacier, we traveled up the West Coast of the Southern Island between the west side of the Southern Alps and the Bass Strait. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, yet the roads were incredibly treacherous. Hairpin turns through one lane roads (but with two cars!) on the side of a mountain—I did most of the driving and was quite relieved to finish my shift!

After navigating the winding roads, we emerged to see the ocean and were able to enjoy a beautiful drive up the coastline. The highway/road was inland off the coast about a kilometer. In between the road and the ocean were several cattle farms. Unfortunately I do not have video proof, but I found it highly entertaining to see cows chewing grass with an ocean backdrop. Do not see that in Stilwell!

We arrived at Arthur’s Pass around mid-afternoon and had plenty of time to walk around and explore the countryside. The area was dry (relatively dry—much wetter than Australia, but dryer than the southern part of the South Island) but was beautiful nonetheless. We
Amazing ReflectionAmazing ReflectionAmazing Reflection

Many of the lakes on the West side of the Southern Alps were incredibly still--they looked like glass and provided great reflections of the sky!
had planned to climb Avalanche Peak—supposedly one of the best hikes in New Zealand, but after two taxing days of hiking on Mt. Cook and Fox Glacier, we opted to have some beers at the Arthur’s Pass Saloon instead.

Another fantastic day in NZ!

Hope you all enjoy the pictures—more will be coming soon!

Less than four weeks left in my travels……time flies.

Randy



Additional photos below
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Apparently keep watch for flying bikers?
CountrysideCountryside
Countryside

The Southern Alps/Mt. Cook, much like the Colorado Rockies, are meddlers with the weather. Most of the weather systems enter from the West and are blocked/changed by the Southern Alps. Since Arthur's Pass is located on the East side of the Southern Alps, it receives very little rain (it is not a desert, but much less lush than other areas of the country). Thus, the foilage/grasses/shrubbery are not nearly as prevalent as they are in other places in the South Island. I could take Bryan Busby's job in a heartbeat.
One Lane BridgesOne Lane Bridges
One Lane Bridges

In this situation, the black arrow dictates that we must "Give Way" to oncoming cars. I have driven over 50+ one lane bridges, and for some reason, I would venture to say that I have had to "Give Way" 45 times. It makes no sense, especially considering that on a good number of my trips, I have taken the exact same path back home.....
Fixing a FlatFixing a Flat
Fixing a Flat

The old Nissan Bluebird had a blowout right after we finished navigating the winding roads of Arthur's Pass. Like any good construction crew, Matt took the role of supervisor while I labored. If Jeff Gordon would have been present, he would have fired his pit crew on the spot---from pull over to back on the road, 15 minutes on the dot!
Rock FormationsRock Formations
Rock Formations

Purportedly, hundreds of bats live in the cave in the left of the picture. I decided not to find out if this was true. Did you know: Bats are the only native mammals in New Zealand. All other mammals have been introduced. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle! G.I. Joe!
Beautiful MountainsBeautiful Mountains
Beautiful Mountains

I know that I probably sound too "flowery" but I just cannot describe to you the absolute beauty of this country. I hate road trips back in the U.S., but LOVE road trips here!


21st March 2007

school
so with all this traveling and stuff you are doing, are you getting ANY schoolwork done? no, it looks like you are having a blast, man. and i am totally jealous. call me when you get back and town and we'll have some beers.

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