Photos marked [JSutton] are by John Sutton, all the rest were taken by me.
Friday 13th March 2015: Both Johns, Ian, Alan and Graham had decided to go potholing at Cave Stream Scenic Reserve a short distance further north from Castle Hill. Later we all headed through Arthur's Pass.
Trips from Birch Hill
We all had a look at the reserve and Alan showed me the exit - the rocks were slippery and there was some crawling so I think I made the best choice, claustrophobia aside! Actually I'm only claustrophobic when one could get stuck and only acrophobic when there is a significant chance of falling, so as these are quite rational fears, I shouldn't suppress them!
Crawling out of cave JSutton IMG_4598.jpg
Did I mention wet pants? JSutton IMG_4599.jpg
Moa on the Waimakariri DSC_1238aa.jpg
After Cave Stream we headed futher north, past Lakes Pearson and Grasmere to connect with the Waimakariri River at Bealey where we stopped for lunch. Great views of Mt Bealey to the west and Mt Horrible to the right [other woeful names in the area are Mt Misery and Mt Damfool]. The Moa were well done (but not on the menu).
Moa & Mt Horrible DSC_1244a.jpg
Cathy with Moa DSC_1237a.jpg
Otira Viaduct DSC_1245a.jpg
After Bealey there is Arthur's Pass (great DOC centre) and Mt Rolleston [just north and just higher than Mts Guinevere and Lancelot] and on to the amazing Otira viaduct. This viaduct is "one of the most notable environmental engineering achievements in NZ" and won the 2001 IPENZ Environmental Award in 2001 for protection of the fragile alpine ecology.
We only went as far as Otira (about 13km north of Arthur's Paa village) before heading back to Birch Hill Lodge.
Romulus and Remus at Otira DSC_1248.jpg
Vintage truck and Graham at Otira DSC_1249ac.jpg
A real (live) West Coaster DSC_1251a.jpg
Saturday 14th March 2015: Some of the group went to see the Glentui Falls (which we had passed on the Mt Richardson circuit) and we tried morning tea at (Jo) Seagars at Oxford, which I found a bit crowded and the food too buttery. In the afternoon we took a trip out to the Lees Valley, just to see it close up.