Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Road Trip to Arthur's Pass National Park

Since there're not many activities could do in Ashburton town, I joined my housemate Gavin for a day trip to Arthur Pass on one of our days off.

I initially wished to experience the Tranz Alpine scenic trains to Arthuss Pass from Christchurch. I saw a great deal on television about the discount of the trains on winter. However, Gavin took the train previously on summer and he told me that’s nothing. Hence, he persuaded me better to take a road trip on ourselves. By driving, at least we could stop by anywhere we wanted and there’re more scenic views could be enjoyed. Latterly, we started our journey from Ashburton by his car.  

Interestingly, a coincidence happened on the drive when sheep herding at opposite blocking the car. But then we’re happy to stop and wait meanwhile watching the front coming sheep unexpectedly :D

When he’s driving along the State Highway 1 and 73, I took plenty of scenic photos from the window of his car and we saw gorgeous mountain background most of the time. We occasionally stopped off at some recreation areas before we reached the Arthur’s Pass village.

Taking more than regular driving hours, we finally reached the site. Arthur’ Pass National Park is a heaven for adventurous skiers and mountain climbers. It offers beautiful mountains for them to explore.

Mountains at Arthur's Pass
But we’re not truly mountain lovers, so we rather took some short walks around the village. The popular walk is to Devil’s Punchbowl Falls and nearby Arthur’s Pass Chapel. It took an hour for round trip. In the church, we saw the waterfall visibly from the window.     

Waterfall sightseeing from the church

At the village, we also grabbed the opportunity to see the TranzAlpine train that passing the railway only once a day.   


TransAlpine Express passing the railway at Arthur's Pass 

Next, we moved to see the magnificent Castle Hill. There’s countless limestone rocks formed at the site.  

Castle Hill

A cottage with Castle Hill as backdrop

Many limestone rocks formed on the hill

At Arthur’s Pass village, we met my housemate’s friend by chance. From the conversation, we noticed that she missed the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch. As a result, we went to Christchurch and sent her back before we arrived in Ashburton again at night.