Non-Wedding Related: We Hike!

22 Jul

So on Saturday, GP, myself and GP’s Best Man and best friend (which I’ll call ‘Hunter’ for appropriate reasons) went up to Arthur’s Pass. For those of who don’t know, Arthur’s Pass is a little township in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It’s a beautiful little place, surrounded by mountains and forest.

And also, Keas!!!

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See that wee bird – he’s a Kea! Isn’t he beautiful!? ❤ / Personal Image

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THEY’RE SO CUTE // Personal image

 

AHEM.

Sorry for the retarded picture of my face. And the Kea spam – I love those birds. They get SO close to you and they’re so cute! Anyway, we drove up to the Arthur’s Pass National Park and got ready for our trek up the Devil’s Punchbowl. The Department of Conservation describes the walk as follows:

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Description of the Devil’s Punchbowl Track and Waterfall // Image taken from the NZ Department of Conservation website

 

Don’t worry guys – the trek isn’t as ominous as it sounds. It’s a basic trek  and the pathway has been fixed by the Department of Conservation to ensure that even the most inexperienced hiker can make it up to the viewing platform at the top to see the waterfall. Which, we did!

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GP looking handsome, me looking retarded. I’m wearing GP’s mama’s coat, since we were convinced we’d get drenched (we did!) // Personal image

But we weren’t at the top. The photo above shows us at the outlook, where you can see the Devil’s Punchbowl in the distance. However, we weren’t at the base of the waterfall, where the supposed ‘Punchbowl’ was. According to GP, the waterfall was so-named because a big boulder had fallen underneath the waterfall. After years of erosion, the pounding waters of the falls had carved a HUGE crater into the boulder, shaping it like a – you guessed it – punchbowl!

After investigating the spot, Best Man Hunter saw a path that lead UP to the waterfall’s base. That meant going off track a little bit (read: the DOC didn’t lay down any manmade pathways going that way). But we were determined, and according to both GP and Hunter, it was perfectly safe.

Jumping over the barriers of the viewing platform, we made the journey further up, passing this sign on the way:

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WE’RE REBELS! But seriously, there was no danger at all. // Personal image

After huffing and puffing up the side and scrambling up rocks, we made it to an area which was just flax plants. No more rocks to steady myself on. ‘Oh crap’, I thought, ‘I don’t think I can make it’. That one moment of hesitation made my resolve waver long enough for me to tell GP to go forward himself because I was sure I wouldn’t make it. He, being the awesome guy he is, understood and made it the rest of the way with Best Man Hunter to the base of the waterfall.

I remember sitting there for a few moments thinking, ‘why did I stop!? Am I crazy!? I’ve wanted to see this thing for ages’. I got up to go by myself, but realised GP wouldn’t be very happy if I did. So I stood there and waited ’til they returned.

“I want to try it,” I said.

Happily, they agreed to retrace their path back to the base of the waterfall, this time with me in tow. And guys, I am so glad I decided to go.

It was BEAUTIFUL.

Now – the punchbowl of the Devil’s Punchbowl has either a) been eroded way over time, or b) been damaged in the earthquake and disappeared. So I didn’t get to see the punchbowl, but the waterfall – OH THE WATERFALL.

The sheer power of it is AMAZING. The sheer force of the wind it creates and the spray – just so, so beautiful! I wish I had taken a picture of it, but with all the water that was hitting us, any electronic devices would have been damaged. GP managed to get some pictures of us just a little bit away from the base, behind some rocks, to protect his phone.

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At the base of the Devil’s Punchbowl // Personal image

So one thing I do recommend if you love hiking and love waterfalls – the Devil’s Punchbowl. It was spectacular and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

We made the trek down with no real problems, chatting mostly about the wedding and planning. We had lunch at the local diner, checked out the local real estate, and then drove back to Christchurch. We did stop at Lake Lyndon, but haven’t got any photos of it. The section we drove to was frozen though, so that was an AWESOME sight. Our next stop was Sheffield, where we got a pie, drank coffee, and chatted about the merits of clean food (and how sometimes even bigger businesses can get it wrong).

And then, we were in Christchurch again. The day was capped with a delicious dinner of “Fush ‘n’ Chups” with GP’s parental units (can’t go to New Zealand without having it!) followed by board games with Best Man Hunter.

An excellent day to be had and I’d definitely do it all over again!

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