The beautiful scenic SH73 highway is also known as the Great Alpine Highway. Throughout the journey, we were surrounded by the southern alps and during our drive, we were just “wow, wow, wow”, all the way. Driving from Christchurch to Greymouth is 250km. It will take just about 3.5 hours without stopping.
With so many beautiful places to stop along the way, such as Lake Lyndon, Castle Hill, Cave Stream Scenic Reserve, Otira Viaduct , Arthur’s Pass Village and National Park, do plan for a few extra hours for this road.
When we reached the end of the steps, we saw this!
It looked like a rapid and perhaps a deep river to me and I thought, uh oh, I don’t think we can do the caving this time. We would have to cross the river before getting to the entrance of the cave. The river didn’t look too safe and we weren’t too prepared to get that wet. We had to give up on caving and get on with the road, driving into Arthur’s Pass National Park.
We stopped by the visitor centre at Arthur’s Pass. Arthur’s pass being the highest pass among the southern helps, the temperature was colder and there was a lot of snow piled up at the road side compared to earlier parts of the journey. The roads were also wetter and more slippery so watch out when you drive. You might get a chance to see the alpine bird, the kea, around this area. They seemed to be pretty “sociable”, hopping around people, doing their own things and not bothered by us humans at all. You can get close up with them for some nice photos.
Driving through the Otira Viaduct, and a few other villages was the last part of our journey on Arthur’s Pass Road, before reaching our destination at Greymouth, Alpine Rose Motel.
More Info on the Great Alpine Highway, SH73
More Info on Castle Hill
More Info on Cave Stream Scenic Reserve
More Info on Arthur’s Pass National Park
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