One day a long time ago Matt and I went on an adventure. It seemed like a great day for a walk so we packed our bags complete with lunch, scroggin and our cameras. We laced up our shoes, put on our winter woolies and headed to Lake Coleridge. We got about a third of the way up before my lack of fitness failed me, and we were so windswept we couldn’t continue on. There were sweeping vistas of the lake and the mid-canterbury mountainous landscape that you could not take your eyes off, even only a third of the way up the mountain.
We headed back down the hill, took a gravel road to make us feel extra intrepid and headed past a few other mid-canterbury lakes such as Lake Lyndon and ended up taking in the wonder of the vastness of the Torlesses Tussocklands Park and the engorged rivers that cut into the soft, tussock covered land.
Then realising we were quite close to Arthurs Pass both Matt and I thought there was no need to end our adventure just yet. The beauty of that State Highway that you follow into Arthurs Pass is that you track along, cut near and away from the Waimakariri River. This is one of the largest rivers in Canterbury, and has a stunning gravel braided morphology. This is one of the few rivers to make it to the Main Divide at the centre of the Southern Alps, so over winter is full of icey cold snow water.
As we headed up the curving state highway between the hills and into the mountains, I was hopeful that we would spot one of our native birds, the Kea. Arthurs Pass cuts through the Southern Alps from Canterbury on the East Coast of the South Island, to Westland on the West Coast of the South Island. Arthurs Pass is breathtaking everytime and looks ethereal when the treetops are covered in snow, and is always fun trying to spot, and make fun with the Keas that inhabit the area. Stunned as we drove along with tall mountains to one side, and a cliff to a river that trickles far below we headed to the viaduct outlook.
We then decided we had come this far so why not go to Greymouth, as it was only just over an hour away at this stage. So we travelled on, and as the sun was setting we drove through the luscious west coast countryside into the seaside city of Greymouth. Here we had fish and chips for dinner before hopping back in the car to start the 4 hour journey home.