Sean Mc on Skynet

Arthurs Pass Scenic Rail Journey





From Hawkes we continued on to Wellington en route to Christchurch. During our time on the South Island over the summer Arthurs pass was the only alpine pass which we hadn't travelled over. At that stage we had decided it would be a good idea to wiat until winter and see what the mountains look like cover in snow. The weather didn't let us down. We flew from Wellington to Christchurch and wow! It was so cold! The three of us were up before dawn for this train journey but it was well worth it just to see the glow of the morning sunshine on the mountains as we trundled through the canturbury plains. We stopped just before the foothills for our first photo opportunity. It was so cold that the train stopped several times going up through the mountains due to the points on the tracks being frozen in place. The pass itself was spectacular, there was about 200mm of snow on the ground and it was pristine in the bright winter sunshine on a clear day. From there the train journeyed on towards Greymouth. There's not a lot to see in Greymouth(we'd been there during the summer anyway), in fact we struggled to find somewhere still open for lunch. We'd arrived at 2pm and most places were shut! Thankfully we'd only an hour to waste in Greymouth before the journey back to Christchurch. When we were at Arthurs pass on the way back it was dusk so we got some great moonlight views just as it got dark.
Later that night we met up with Mike Nooney, another paddler friend of our from Ireland. Mike and his wife Alice had just moved back to NZ from Canada so we had a night of beer and travel stories, great to catch up with him again.
The next day we had a look around Christchurch with Susan before catching a flight back to Wellington, this turned out to be yet another delayed flight, only an hour late thankfully.

posted by SeanMc @ 8:46 AM,

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