Since a few months, we are back to a « normal » life in Christchurch, but that doesn’t mean we stop exploring !! Every weekends, we leave this awesome city sitting right between mountains and sea to go wandering through beautiful Canterbury. Indeed, this region offers many wonders… And here is one of our all-time favourites !
Only one hour away from Christchurch, Castle Hill is a stunning entrance hall to Arthur’s Pass and the Southern Alps. We went there mid-may for the first time with our friend Camille and Pierre-Jean. We discovered a really magical place! A spectacular creation of Mother Earth. Titanic rock formations stand erected to the sky, like a giant Stonehedge built by some ancient god to honour the beauty of Nature.
This place radiates an intense charisma. This is probably what made the Dalai Lama call it « Spiritual centre of the universe » and this is also probably why the directors of Narnia and the Lord of the Ring chose to feature it in their movies!
Easily accessible from the road, Castle Hill doesn’t display any marked walking track, but invites people to wander around as they like between the rocks. It is also a famous training place for climbers, and we spent quite a long time admiring people struggling to ascend the cliffs.
Walking around in this incredible mineral monument, we soon lost all track of time until suddenly, we reached the top of a very high massive rock. From there, we had a vertiginous amazing view all around the valley and the mountains… Utterly breathtaking!
Since then, we never missed a chance to come back when the weather allows it. And, from June on, winter brings its Haute Couture touch by wrapping Castle Hill in a beautiful white cloak!
Children and big children have a lot of fun sledging their way down the slopes or trying to ski-jump over the rocks! Funny looking snowmen start to pop up everywhere, ponds and lakes froze, hairy white sheep are in camouflage mode and the snowy mountain peaks gleam like gems under the sun. All the valley resonates with laughter and it really feels like we are in a Christmas tale… In the middle of June !
Here a few more pictures of Castle Hill covered in snow. Beautiful isn’t it? New Zealand in all its glory!
Tintin & Riette