Arthur’s Pass is a small alpine village that is nestled between the Southern Alps. The drive into town was particularly scenic, the road snakes its way through the valley and around the mountains before passing over the Otira viaduct. We stopped off at Devil’s Punchbowl, an impressive 430ft waterfall, before heading to camp for the night. This was one of the wildest campsites that we’ve stayed at so far and once night fell, we had a great view of the milky way and the starry night’s sky.
The next morning we scrambled our way up to Avalanche Peak. Once we had climbed out of the tree line and edged our way past a few sheer drop offs, we we surrounded by mountains and snow capped peaks. We had a quick lunch stop at the top, before heading back down the mountain and driving to the west coast. The walk took us around 4.5 hours in total, it was a tough climb, but it was definitely worth it for the views!
On the west coast we visited a glowworm dell and Hokitika Gorge before driving north, along the tropical coastline, to Punakaiki. Punakaiki is a popular stop off due to the famous Pancake Rocks. These limestone formations have been heavily eroded, by the Tasman sea, for thousands of years and the layers now resemble huge stacks of pancakes. There were also some impressive blowholes along the walkway that kept us entertained for a while!
Next stop: Abel Tasman, New Zealand