The Castle Hill boulders are a 10 minute walk from the Great Alpine Highway 73, between Springfield and Arthur’s Pass. The formations rear up from the grasslands and to the early European settlers, they resembled old run-down castles, hence the name. It is easy to spend hours wandering among this extensive area, admiring arches, towers, holes, slabs and other shapes that inspire your imagination.
The rock formations are what remains after water has eroded the limestone that formed during the Oligocene period 30 – 40 million years ago, when much of New Zealand was covered by sea. The rocks have been further weathered by natural erosion. In 1998 the area was designated the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area. Kura Tawhiti means ‘treasure from a distant land’.
These photos were taken in mid April after a light autumn snowfall. The names I have given the formations are from my own imagination.