Hike the Inland Pack Track from the Pororari to the Punakaiki River. This historic route once used by prospectors and miners to avoid immense coastal cliffs while travelling the West Coast now forms part of our newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track. Pass through deep limestone canyons and towering rainforest with groves of tropical nikau palms. You may not be able to resist a speedy swim in one of the many deep clear pools you pass on the way!
After the hike, we join a remarkable highway which takes us from the lush green rainforests of the West Coast and over the glaciated Southern Alps to the parched soft yellow tussock grasslands of the eastern high country. This is one of the most cleverly engineered roads in New Zealand.
East of Arthur’s Pass, stretch your legs and stroll around the enchanting limestone outcrops of Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill). This area was an important meeting place and food gathering area for early Maori people. Interestingly it was named “Spiritual Centre of the Universe” by the Dalai Lama when he visited in 2002. Today it is a haven for rock climbers who climb and boulder on the multitude of rock forms.
We then leave the highway and follow the back roads around Lake Lyndon and on to Methven, a ski town by winter and laid-back rural town the rest of the year. The Southern Alps form a spectacular backdrop. Choose to dine in house or head into the village for a meal at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Ski Time, Methven. Includes breakfast and lunch.