Driving day #3 we moved from Arthur’s Pass to Kaikoura:
- Distance = 275 km, bypassing Christchurch
- Expected driving time = 3.5 hours
- Actual elapsed time = about 8 hours
- Main reason it took so long = extended stop at Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area
Also known as Castle Hill, the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area was the setting for one of the battle scenes in the Chronicles of Narnia movie. But the only cameras and characters in sight during our visit were the Olympus PEN cameras we all carried and the four of us climbing up, on, over and through the unique limestone formations.
We took our time here, exploring lots of nooks and crannies (including a few where geocaches are hidden from view) and trying to figure out the purpose of a spiral outlined in smaller rocks. Whatever the actual purpose, it was pure enjoyment for our teenage boys!
Combining a morning at Kura Tawhiti with an afternoon at Cave Stream (or vice versa) would make an excellent day-trip out of Christchurch. I’m not sure what’s in the area in terms of restaurants and cafes, though, so a little advance research or bringing a picnic lunch would be a good idea.