During a period of hot summer weather, we chose to walk the Mt Crichton Loop Track, not only for its scenic and historical aspects, but also because it provided shade. The walk includes river, waterfall, forest, and lake views and passes by historic landmarks. The nine kilometre track took around three hours (including stops) from a minimum altitude of 383 metres to a maximum altitude of 604 metres. It is accessed from the Mt Crichton carpark, about 11km from Queenstown on the Glenorchy Road.
View of Lake Wakatipu from early on the track
We completed the track in an anti-clockwise direction. Although the walk is not strenuous, this avoided climbing a few of the steeper hill sections.
We wandered under the stunning ancient Clay Cliffs, near Omarama, in the Upper Waitaki River Basin, North Otago. Fantastic pinnacles and ravines, formed by natural erosion on the active Ostler Fault, laid down millions of years ago as ocean sediment. There is a signposted road on State Highway 8, just north of Omarama, to access the Clay Cliffs. There is an honesty box of $5 per car at the entry gate.
Sir Miles Warren’s house and garden in Governor’s Bay are a delight. With harbour views, the present garden was begun in 1977 by Sir Miles, though there was a garden created on the some site in 1865 by one of New Zealand’s first botanists, T.H . Potts. Some of the exotic trees and shrubs he planted still stand on the perimeter of the garden. Sir Miles Warren is a well-known New Zealand architect, now in his 80’s. He lives in the house and was working in his garden when we visited. In 2012 he gifted the house and garden to the people of New Zealand through the Ohinetahi Charitable Trust.
Introduction outside the main house before starting the tour
A wander around Christchurch Botanic Gardens in early October reveals the blossom, rhododendrons and azaleas falling, but other flowers coming into bloom, and Mrs Duck is proudly displaying her brood.
The Curators House
The Hilgendorf building had a strong presence on the Lincoln University campus, comprising about 30 % of Lincoln’s academic floor space. Built in the brutalist style and opened in 1968, it was named after Frederick William Hilgendorf, who pioneered plant breeding in New Zealand, concentrating on wheat. He joined the staff in 1899, and retired in 1936. Continue reading
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.
At the start of the boulders, walkers on the right giving scale
The oldest surviving building within Molesworth Station is the historic Acheron Accommodation House. It was constructed in 1862-63 by cob builder Ned James, and it was used until 1932 by stockmen and travellers on the inland route between Nelson and Christchurch. The house was one of six rest places providing shelter and meals on the six day journey.
Acheron Homestead, at the confluence of the Clarence and Acheron Rivers