Blogs from Arthur's Pass National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 4


Hello again Friends! It is with mixed emotions I write that our great tramping adventures of the South Island have officially come to an end; a week in Arthur's Pass was the final hurrah! This is a sad note because it's becoming more and more real now that we must actually return to reality back home soon, but also very joyful because my body has had about enough of this. The days in the Arthur's Pass were an excellent final destination as they offered a little of everything we've done in our time here, from river stomping to alpine passes. This area of New Zealand is very epic in scale; huge sweeping valleys and giant, towering mountains stretching the land in all directions. We all noted how it kind of reminded us of Colorado, albeit much ... read more

I was sitting here at the Youth Hostel having lunch with fellow travellers and we felt the earthquake that was centered in Christchurch, many miles away. It wasn"t until supper that the news spread throughout the hostel It is only because yesterday was sunny that we decided to come through Arthur's Pass National Park instead of doing a city trip. We are grateful for that sunny day as the hostel we would have been at is devastated. We have been traveling almost a month now with our tent visiting north and south island. We have stayed at Doc sites,( department of conservation), family campgrounds and the occasional YHA when the weather has been inclement We have visited volcanic sites, parks with great redwoods, fought wild winds with the tent. We have visited Napier, the art deco ... read more

WE WRITTEN THIS 2 DAYS BEFORE THE CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE So after a long drive we arrived in Arthurs pass at 925 metres altitude, we parked in the Doc hut campsite and watched the heavy rain splash off the wind screen, it looked like our planned treks in the surrounding mountains would be a wash out!!!!! In the morning we awoke to the shrill of the Mountain parrots called Kea. There are warning signs about these little fellas everywhere as they are the bird equilivent to a young teenager that has just discovered strong cider (white lightning). They trash everything! biting car wheels, eating their way through tents, picking out window seals, and agrivating everybody in the tea shop!!! we want one! So after getting our hands on a map and asking the local people for ... read more
rock climbing solo

Pretty much as soon as we arrived in Christchurch, we started gearing up for some hiking/camping/kayaking that we are planning to do. Since we've been on the road for so long, it just wasn't practical to bring all our outdoor gear from home. We've also rented a small car for the next three months and our gear (new and old) has already exploaded throughout our new home. It will take us a bit before we get a new system down for organizing our stuff since it doesn't all have to fit in our packs anymore. The most shocking thing we've found so far is the cost of everything. We're trying so hard not to convert the prices back into Chinese Yuan, and we remind ourselves that our budget for New Zealand is higher than it was ... read more
View from Bealey hut
Mmmmm Pies
Castle Hill

Our next OS trip: New Zealand. Flew into Christchurch 10ish and went straight to pick up our new home for the next 12 days: a six berth Backpacker campervan. First surprise was the amazing scenery of Arthurs Pass, just a two hour drive from the capital of the South Island.... read more
Lauren at Waimakiri River
Our Campervan
Mountain scenery

THE EPIC JOURNEY By Kaitlin Arntz Starring: Sunny Nissan 10-Second Timer Me Chapter 1: Christchurch, Across Arthur’s Pass, Punakaiki and Winding Roads It all started with a girl, a cheap and cheerful car, and a fabulous camera. The girl drove Sunny to Christchurch, where she saw an amazing exhibit of scarily-real sculptures of humans in all forms. After the quaint charm of Christchurch, Kaitlin had only one more thing left to do in preparation for her epic journey across South Island: buy a jug of water and a loaf of bread (to complement her leftover cereal and half-jar of crunchy peanut butter). These would serve as her meals for the day. Food in passenger seat, Sunny and Kaitlin began to steadily climb into Arthur’s Pass. The journey beheld many wonders, including massive boulders straight out of ... read more

Tuesday we had the whole day in Arthurs Pass so we pottered along a few of the shorter walks including the Dobson Nature Walk (& a little of the Otira Valley as it looked pretty!), a brief stop in the DOC office for postcards & more walk info then up to the Devil's Punchbowl Falls - quite a lot of steps to go up but the fall was beautiful. We paused up here for our picnic lunch then scooted back into the village to grab ice creams before tackling the longer walk up Bealey Valley to see The Chasm!!! Very pretty but it really doesn't deserve that name! We continued up the hill as the DOC guy told us there are lovely views from the top, & he was right. Beautiful views from a grassy clearing ... read more
Devil's Punchbowl Falls
Mountain stream

Monday morning we were up & ready to go soon after 9am. My foot is still sore so Julian is doing the bulk of the driving (sorry!) - except for the high mountain passes, I'm doing those! We were not far down the road from the rafting lodge when I noticed the fuel guage was low & the light on. Ah. So we drove back 17km to Geraldine & found a petrol station to top up at, whilst there we also stocked up from the local supermarket too. We then set off along the Inland Scenic Route up through Mayfield, Pudding Hill & Springfield then further up towards Arthur's Pass. We stopped off several times to admire the view or take short walks. Noticable were the Rakaia River where we had lunch, a pretty grassland DOC ... read more
Rakaia River
To the mountains...

Day 20 Monday Up and away by 9.30 so we can stop in Punakaiki to see the Pancake Rocks. The view was well worth it, the constant roar, the way the power of the waves has sculptured the rocks and the coastline was incredible. We stayed there for ages mesmerised. Mike. For the geologically minded, the pancake rocks have alternating layers of hard and soft sedimentary rock. They are being rapidly eroded by the constant pounding from the Tasman Sea Holes and fissures have formed and the sea forces its way through these Eventually back on the road to Arthur’s Pass...but first, that petrol. The petrol light was flashing as we drove into north Greymouth and found the Shell sign. No need to panic! Deb’s dad would have been proud. When we looked at the bit ... read more
pancake rocks1
pancake rocks 2
pancake rocks 3

Off to ski today! An early wakeup and drive through the quieter streets of Christchurch. Porters is an easy 1.5 hour run (max) from Yaldhurst Road to the west. A few small towns dot the way, providing fuel and toilet relief but we passed all those, keen to get to the skifield. It's easy to find, just follow the highway to Arthurs Pass and look for the big sign on the left after Lake Coleridge. Joseph and I kitted up with the usual boots poles and skis $202 for the both of us. I'd picked up a really good deal through the KidsFest with Joseph's lesson, beginners lift and equipment only $52. Gloves and goggles are not part of the clothing hire of jacket and pants, $20 and $40 extra to buy respectively. With it being ... read more
Tobogganing 2
Tobogganing 3

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