MG 8650

South Island: Arthur’s Pass to Kaikoura

We had breakfast in the restaurant area and it was simple but OK. We then packed and drove to the nearby carpark we had walked through yesterday to do the other waterfall walk, this time to see the Bridal Veil falls. Through quiet forest we followed the track again upwards, though not as steep as the Devil’s Punchbowl path had been. Rather than coming to a platform to view the falls the track had a short diversion to a lookout point where the top of the falls could be seen. From here there was a steep drop down stairs to a bridge over the stream below the falls. To actually get close to the falls we would have had to clamber over rocks and through the forest, there wasn’t a path. I wasn’t up for that, not knowing how long it would take, so after standing on the bridge we turned around and headed back.

MG 8650Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The distant view of Bridal Veil Falls.

On the return I stopped at a small waterfall next to the track and took a few photos to make up for not seeing the other falls close up. Then it was back along the track to the car and onward.

MG 8673Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Not Bridal Veil Falls.

We didn’t get very far, stopping in the Arthur’s Pass town to have a look at another waterfall and then taking a toilet stop. We parked in the train station car park and watched a kea having fun on an unattended car. The kea had stripped the rubber seal from the roof and also unscrewed the aerial, the rubber strips had been tied to the drivers side door handle so they weren’t lost (it was a rental car, I wonder if their insurance covered kea damage). Phil screwed the aerial back together.

MG 8719Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The troublesome kea.

MG 8723Photo by Brendon & Keryn

It wasn’t me guv.

Leaving Arthur’s Pass we followed the road through the mountains valley and took a couple of stops along the way. We had a morning tea break (more slice!) at Lake Pearson and a lunch break at Castle Hill. Wandering amongst the limestone boulders at Castle Hill was good, a very different landscape to anything we’d seen so far. There were a few people bouldering though no one actually on rocks that we saw, so no photos of that. As we walked back to the car a tour group arrived and while we ate lunch we listened to those left at the car park trying to figure out there menu and how to separate and pack their recent grocery shopping. They sounded very disorganised, nothing like any of the overlanding trips Keryn and I have done.

MG 8729Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Relaxing at Lake Pearson.

MG 8743Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Looking back from the boulders.

MG 8749Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Limestone landscape.

MG 8761Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Coming ’round the mountain?.

From Castle Hill it was pretty much straight to the coast, diverting around Christchurch and heading north towards Kaikoura. There was one last stop on the way at the Mud House Winery where wine was tasted and purchased and we had a nice sit down over a drink before continuing our journey.

Reaching Kaikoura we found our accommodation, the Sunrise Lodge backpackers and got organised into our rooms. With some light left in the day we decided to head north to Ohau Stream and see if there were any seal pups playing at the waterfall. We walked the short track and arrived at the pool underneath the waterfall to find one lonely pup in attendance. We watched for a while as the pup swam around or nervously tried to climb the steep sides of the gully. As we would be coming back this way the next day we figured we could come back at an earlier time to see if there were any more seals around.

Heading back I asked if we could stop to get a few shots of the evening light over the ocean and the Kaikoura ranges. We had a break and I got a few photos and then the car wouldn’t start. We had to call the AA out in the end and a new battery was purchased and installed. Thankfully there was a nice sunset to watch while this all happened.

MG 8789Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Evening ocean views.

MG 8800Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The single surfer.

MG 8813Photo by Brendon & Keryn

A pleasant sunset.

The unexpected delay meant we were quite late getting back to Kaikoura and there were not that many cheap and easy food options available. We decided on pizza in the end, getting a couple of takeaway pizzas from what was probably Dexarelli’s Pizza (based on a quick search). The pizza was good, the owner very friendly. We ate back at the backpackers and then were off for some sleep, Keryn and I going on the early whale watching boat in the morning.

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