Join us as we head west out of Christchurch across the fertile Canterbury Plains and into the Southern Alps stopping along the way at such locations as Aylesbury Corner with alpine views, and Springfield for a short break before we begin the long climb up and over Porters Pass before stopping at Lake Lyndon on the western side of the pass.
From Lake Lyndon we work our way further inland past such notable locations as Lake Pearson/Moana-Rua and Castle Hill before we round Cornishmans Rise and drop down to meet the braided upper reaches of the mighty Waimakariri river which we eventually cross at Klondyke Corner where we also stop briefly for the mountain views beyond the river.
Stopping in Arthurs Pass for lunch, we then make our way up the Devils Punchbowl Falls track to the base of this amazing little waterfall. Once we’ve had our fill of the view and taken enough photographs, we return to our vehicle to resume our tour westwards over the Otira Viaduct as far as the Otira Gorge Rock Shelter Lookout where we can see some of the amazing engineering that went into the cantilevered section of SH 73 where it passes through the Otira Gorge. From there we head back towards Arthurs Pass but not before calling at the Otira Viaduct Lookout area above the infamous Candy’s Bend where we can again admire mans’ ingenuity with the spectacular Otira Viaduct.
Heading back through Arthurs Pass towards Christchurch, we still have a few stops left in our tour, namely at Cave Stream, and at the Porters Pass Summit, which is actually higher than Arthurs Pass! At Cave Stream we enjoy a brief walk to a couple of points where you can see the stream disappear into the hillside, and then re-emerging from its cave just a short distance downstream. And then at the Porters Pass Summit we admire the outlook, and if you’re like me, take lots of photos!
As we head back east, we turn north at Sheffield to cross the Waimakariri River once again at the Waimakariri Gorge with its bridge that dates back to the 1930’s. Of course, we have to stop so you can get a closer view, before resuming our tour to our last stop (time permitting) at the Waimakariri River Regional Park just north of Christchurch, before completing our tour back in the city
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