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Arthur's Pass

Added: April 26, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos waterfalls
14th of January. We knew we were not alone in dormitory, but our roommate was not there. He arrived at 2am and went directly to bed. We were sleeping too so we did not bother to check on him. Then his alarm clock rang at 7am, but he managed to snooze it 3 times by ten minutes. We were not sure he was not able to get up or he just wanted to make sure we could not sleep too. He went for quick shower and then left.

Only later we have noticed a paper next to door warning about fake backpackers operating in Greymouth area who steal from unsuspecting roommates.

Fortunately this one was not one of them (or he was paralysed by our snoring), because we did not miss anything. Well, I lost thousand things during our trip, some of them several times, but I found all of them apart from lens cap when I lost it for the 3rd time... and that happened at Heathrow while waiting for bus and repacking my backpack, so practically after our trip has been over.

We packed and left too. It was cloudy again and it seemed cloud layer gets thicker as we approached Arthur's Pass. We wanted to have a hike there, so we were not very happy.

When we got higher the weather got better and we had quite a lot sunshine at the top while walking to Devil's Punchbowl Falls. It's about 60 minutes walk.

It is pity the waterfalls is easier to see from distance than from viewing platform below it. But you will get more of refreshing moisture below it than from distance (unless it is raining). We were there before noon, so the falls was in a shade, but we would need to wait quite long time to get better light. We could not afford that because we needed to be in Christchurch at 6pm.

Arthur's Pass

Devil's Punchbowl Falls
Devil's Punchbowl Falls      Devil's Punchbowl Falls


We stoped also in Arthur's Pass village, Peter wanted to find a geocache there. I stayed in the car and observed Keas flying around. I was surprised they were also here.

We continued along Arthur's Pass, road was zigzaging downwards, hills around were nice and clouds again thickened. The country was nice, but thanks to clouds not very welcoming to stop for taking photos. We stopped only once, at the end of National Park.

Entrance to Arthur's Pass NP

Arthur's Pass

Country around us got really grey and boring as we were continuing to Christchurch. Then I noticed interesting rock formations on the right. We stopped and I took a few photos. They seemed somehow familiar, I even checked in books later about locations where Lord of Rings was filmed, but I could not find it. Only at home, looking at Google Maps I found it's name - Castle Hill and then what film used this location. It was Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Castle Hill is private property, so I could not get closer.
Castle Hill from road

Shortly after that it started to rain and our photographing was over. Fine, we still needed to get into Christchurch on time and having some dinner before visiting Maori village would help too.

When we arrived to Christchurch we realized this is completely different place compared to rest of New Zealand we have seen till now - you have to pay for parking and it is not cheap.