My first of three back-to-back flights home leaves Christchurch in about 9 hours. I've got some re-packing to do, but I wanted to chronicle my last day in New Zealand before signing off. We headed up to Arthur's Pass (the site of my two-day Avalanche Peak hike last year) to do some relatively mild trekking. It was another gorgeous day and we got some great advice from a visitor center worker who suggested doing the Bealey Spur Track, which took us up a ridge just out of town that provided some spectacular views of the local scenery. Pictures follow. Enjoy.
On the drive there some sheep got out on the road. You hear it all the time, but it's true: New Zealand has a ton of sheep.
Some cool rocks on the way to Arthur's Pass.
The visitor center in Arthur's Pass.
The hike started out in a forest.
After about an hour or so we started intermittently popping out of the trees to start getting views of the local mountains.
Jagged rocks and far-off ridges on the Bealey Spur Track.
The view from the top. I actually hiked down the river valley shown last year on day two of the my Avalanche Peak hike. We stayed at an overnight hut up the valley that forks right (just left of center of the picture), and then we hiked all the way down this river bed over rocks and boulders and the twisting river until we got back to the road, off the picture on the right.
Snow-capped mountain view from the top of Bealey Spur.
Stunning view all the way around.
A river valley across the way on the other side of Bealey Spur.
This twisting river ends just outside of Christchurch, a 140 km drive away.
Me at the top. So long, New Zealand!