The road from the West Coast to Canterbury (or vice-versa, if you’re feeling a little perverse!) is a rewarding experience, especially if you’re not in too much of a hurry. It’s about 250kms from Greymouth to Christchurch and a large part of that takes you over the backbone of New Zealand, the Southern Alps. From the west the road follows the valleys of the Taramakau, Otira and Waimakariri rivers until it runs through a broad pass to the eastern Porters Pass and drops down to the Canterbury Plains. The scenery is outstanding and although there are a few large sheep stations (farms) on the central plain when you look beyond them the mountains are fantastic.
As you come out of The Bush after Arthur’s Pass and cross the upper Waimakariri River is the Bealey Hotel. Several years ago the then owner, Mr Paddy Freaney was out tramping with a couple of mates when they saw something that most in New Zealand thought was an impossibility- a moa! Naturally this was big news because moa had thought to have become extinct in New Zealand before the arrival of European settlers (at least that’s one of NZ’s problems that we can’t be blamed for!!) BUT LOOK!These pictures were taken by me when I visited The Bealey a couple of weeks ago.Makes you think, doesn’t it?
And this is the magnificent view down the Waimakariri River from the Bealey Hotel.Nice place for a stop to break the trip and perhaps have a snack and a drink.