Arthur's Pass is the highest pass over the Southern Alps.
Long before surveyor Arthur Dudley Dobson found his way over the pass in 1864, it was known to Maori hunting parties as a route between east and west.
The eastern side of Arthur's Pass National Park is characterised by wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and vast beech forests. The western side of the park, where wet weather is more common than dry, has deeply gorged rivers flowing through dense rain forest. Down the middle of 'the great divide' is an alpine dreamland of snow-covered peaks, glaciers,lakes and scree slopes.
The day I crossed from Hokitika to Christchurch was a most glorious day,.. 236 km and took me approx. 4 hours this is the longest pass across the Alps from one side of the South Island to the other, I must have booked the roads that day for myself as there was almost no one else in sight all the way, so going slow and taking in the views was causing no one any problems.
I have crossed this pass before but in the other direction, but I felt that this times from West to East was far more scenic,
This picture looking back at the shelter protection across the road .... to protect from rock falls and water that pours off the mountain.
Part of the new road way crossing one of the many river beds ... I would hate to see these river beds in the depth of winter they would be a raging torrent, notice also there is still snow on the mountains although it is mid summer.
One of the many lakes high in the Alps
Another wide river bed, it is difficult to judge just how wide it is .... may be 1 or 2 kms
The other amazing thing I noticed was how many times the sky changed as you went in and out of the gorges and between the mountains
The trip across the pass was one of the highlights of my tour.