It rained and rained all day today. We drove through Arthurs Pass and despite the bad weather we saw lots of beautiful scenery, we just didn’t get out of the car to take any photos. I am not sure that the photos would have turned out so good even if we tried!
The road through Arthurs Pass is the Alpine Highway and we travelled through Castle Hill Village (it was at this stage of the trip that we realised we were running short on fuel). We discovered that Castle Hill Village was purely a small Ski Resort/Village with chalets and not much else.
As we travelled further and further we started to pray for the fuel to last until we arrived at a petrol station. Not that running out of fuel would have been the worst thing to happen it really wouldn’t have been very pleasurable!
Thankfully we arrived at Arthurs Pass, another cute touristy town in the alps and an ideal base for those wanting to snow ski! Here we finally found a petrol bowser, just the one in front of the cafe/tourist centre/rest stop. We had to go in and leave our credit card with the people behind the counter before we could put fuel in and unfortunately a bus full of tourists had just arrived and the line was huge!!!
After paying an excessive amount for our fuel, drinking coffee, using the rest rooms and grabbing even more brochures, we were finally on the road again!
Not far out of Arthurs Pass there are some amazing views, the Via ducts are definitely worth stopping to see (sorry no photo) and we did manage to stop and get a photo of this old bridge near some old mines. You can look closer at the mines but we didn’t, too wet and cold!
The surprising thing about this day was that it was the most excited I had seen Nicholas during our driving. He was absolutely enthralled with all of the water! The rivers were gushing and the plains were flooded in places and he couldn’t get over the amount of water everywhere! After thinking about it a bit I realised that parts of Australia have been n drought for most of the last 10 years so he really hasn’t seen a lot of water in rivers or in fields. He hasn’t had the opportunity to play under the sprinkler or the hose for the last 6 years so he really doesn’t remember anything different!!
Our plan had been to head straight for the west coast however the highway had flooded and the road was closed so we detoured slightly and travelled north to Greymouth and then down along the coast to Franz Josef.
We stopped in Hokitika for a late lunch and a look around. We were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of Mt Cook for the first time when the clouds cleared and it was an awesome sight. Standing at the beach looking at the highest Mountain in New Zealand in all its snow covered glory!
Hokitika is home to some of New Zealand’s finest jade, there are many stores to browse through and lots of beautiful jewellery to admire or purchase!
The coastal road was lovely and the weather had cleared up.
We arrived at Franz Josef in the late afternoon and decided to stop for the night.
Springfield to Franz Josef 356kms