Photo Essay: The Drive from Christchurch to Greymouth

The drive from Christchurch to Greymouth is one of the best drives in New Zealand. It’s a trip I’ve taken hundreds of times, having grown up on the West Coast, making frequently runs across the Southern Alps to Christchurch on the East Coast. It’s a magnificent drive, through the Arthur’s Pass at around 900 metres above sea level. Three hours well spent.

Coming from Christchurch, the Canterbury plains lay green in winter, yellow and dry in summer.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

The road side paddocks are home to sheep and cows.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand, Sheep

 

The rocky outcrops of Castle Hill signal the start of the ascent into the Alps.

 

The Alps moving ever closer with every kilometre.

Southern Alps, Drive from Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

Long one way bridges slice over dry riverbeds. 

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

The ascent begins. The surrounding bush thickens.

Arthur's Pass, Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, New Zealand

 

The viaduct gorge cuts dangerously through the eroding mountains. A waterfall is skillfully diverted above the road.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

 

The descent is quick. Welcome to the wet and wild West Coast.

Christchurch to Greymouth Drive, Southern Alps, New Zealand

6 Comments

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  3. Bethaney, I took the train from Christchurch to Greymouth (July 2012), and even with under partly overcast skies and a very cold stiff breeze blowing through the observation car, the views were absolutely glorious. I would definitely love to drive around the South Island the next time I’m there. :)
    Henry | @fotoeins recently posted..Happy 40 to the Sydney Opera HouseMy Profile

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