On the weekend of the 21-22 of June, Fem and I went for a weekend away to Arthur’s Pass. Arthur’s Pass is a small alpine village located in the middle of the south island in between all the mountains.
I really wanted to see some snow and the while the weather reports were not promising, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
The way there
The drive was about 2.5 hours and we did a lot of stops along the way as usual to take in the views and get some shots.
We did not see any snow on the way in, but there were some small puddles that were frozen over. These are rather new for me to see, so of course I did the silly thing and got a rock and tried to smash them. Fem caught this all on my camera as shown above.
If you are wondering about the small stuffed bear in the middle photo above, this is Fred. Fred has travelled around the world with Femke and now has his place proudly on the dashboard of Magnum. Occasionally he will come outside and get his photo taken as well if there is an impressive view there.
About 3/4 of the way there from Christchurch, there there are these awesome limestone formations on hills that you can get to from the main highway.
Fem and I spent a little while there just climbing over all the giant limestone rocks and getting absolutely stunning views of the mountains all around us.
After Castle Hill, we continued on and drove around a large lake.
And down a stunning Valley and we were there at Arthur’s Pass Village.
If you are wondering why I am shooting panoramas more frequently in the last few blog posts, the reason is simple. Single shots just simply do not show the sheer size and magnitude of the views we are seeing. Using panoramas just captures that little bit more detail and provides the photos with more of a punch. I have to be careful not to do them all the time, as Fem is getting slightly annoyed by me going “wow look at that” … click click click click click click click click.
Arthur’s Pass Village
By the time we got to the village, some storm clouds were rolling in from the West. It was already about 3pm and the 21st of June was going to the the shortest day (of sunlight) for the year, so we decided to just relax and take it easy rather than go on any further walks. We didn’t want to risk getting caught in the rain or the dark (memories of Greenstone-Caples come flooding back).
The next day it was raining steadily as we packed up to go. Unfortunately it was not cold enough for snow but it was still very cold. We considered what to do and did not want to just turn back after coming all this way. So we decided to do one small walk and see how the weather was after that.
Fem had two thick jackets on and I luckily had my raincoat. These photos below are from Fem’s waterproof compact camera as I was not game enough to take mine as the rain was too heavy.
By the time we got to the waterfall which was up the side of a steep mountain, we were both thoroughly soaked and cold. So we got some shots as best as we could and went back to the car and got into some dry clothes. We decided to then call it a day (too wet and cold!) and return to Christchurch.
The way back
On the way back the weather started to improve considerably. It was hard to tell if there were good conditions in the Pass itself or we just drove out of the bad weather.
However we were able to get some great shots on the way back too. I love the red colours of the plants in the shot above.
This shot was taken across the road from Castle Hill and it’s be being regarded as one of the best shots of the trip so far. I am really happy with it!
So that was the weekend, not as much walking as we would have liked thanks to the weather. I did not get to experience any snow.. yet. But it was a great drive with stunning views and we had an enjoyable time.