Final Day: Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill

last day 1
The Scott’s Track signage doesn’t look very official; Tiff in the carpark; nearing the bushline; selfie with the pass beyond 

We started the last day of our roadtrip with a brisk and rocky climb up toward Avalanche Peak in Arthur’s Pass. Scott’s Track is a popular hiking trail starting in Arthur’s Pass Village (plenty of parking). It takes trampers up above the bushline and offers great views up the valley, of Mount Rolleston, and across the valley to Devil’s Punchbowl Falls.

Because of time constraints, we only hiked up about 70 minutes, where we stopped for a quick snack and rest before turning back around for the descent. Thankfully, the downward tramp didn’t cause as much knee and ankle discomfort as some tracks I’ve been on, and we returned to the car warmed up and ready for a drive back toward Christchurch.

On the way, however, I had to stop at Castle Hill. We’ve been as a family and it’s still just one of the coolest spots to hike and walk around. I highly recommend it.

The carpark is plenty big and there’s a toilet but no other facilities (coffee?! a coffee cart here would be perfect.). It’s a short walk up a rock path to the rocky outcroppings littering the landscape (see below).

final day 2
The road from Arthur’s Pass to Castle Hill; Tiffany again in bright sunshine; selfie amongst the rocks; a happy place.

We hiked up and wandered around in the rock formations. Strangely, an athletic group was doing some kind of event training below us so we could hear whistles and coaches shouting: a bit incongruous. But the blue skies were high and bright and we had a great time walking around.

Then it was time for the final 90 minutes’ drive back to Christchurch and home! We pulled in around 3:45, surprising James, who thought I’d be home closer to dinnertime. It was a joyous reunion all around and a great conclusion to an amazing roadtrip with Tiff.

(If you missed any of the posts about our 8 day roadie, just head back through the images on the front page. The first one is “Travels with Tiff: Rakaia Gorge & Tekapo.”)


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