We were towards the end of our New Zealand South Island driving holiday. After several stops along the way, we finally made it to Arthur’s Pass National Park from Hokitika. It was late afternoon by this time and we still had to find where we were staying but at the same time, we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity for at least a walk in the National Park.
So we settled on seeing the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. After parking the car, we could hear the water before we caught a glimpse. After weaving through some trees, we crossed a suspension bridge before climbing gradually to the viewing platform. The views around were so spectacular. It was an easy-moderate 1-hour return walk to the platform and we were not disappointed. Gosh, we love waterfalls, no matter how big or small – though the teeny trickly ones are disappointing. (We should probably add that we are yet to see the likes of Niagara, Iguazu or Victoria, so if we are blown away by any waterfalls… imagine what will happen when we see the real BIG names in waterfalls).
So after returning to the car following the bush walk, we made our way through the winding road to our accommodation for the night. We chose to stay in the heart of the National Park in a little roadside motel. And surrounding us were mountains as far as the eye could see! It was isolated, peaceful and with no wi-fi. We made good use of their foosball table 😉 Open up our curtains and the view was a wee bit surreal for us…We had to go for a walk in the evening to see that it was for real.And it was a full moon that night.
Have you visited Arthur’s Pass National Park?
Drop us a comment.
Thirlmere Lakes National Park is approximately 80 km southwest of Sydney. It is part of the Greater Blue Mountains area which is listed on the UNESCO Heritage List. The National Park is open from sunrise to sunset.
It was overcast and wet – the walking conditions were very different from last week. It was a 6 km loop walk around the lakes and we were the only visitors in the National Park (or at least it seemed).
The walk was easy but because some of the track was overgrown in places, we need to push past shrubs and ferns, climbed over logs and walked under fallen trees. The vegetation was quite varied throughout the walk and it was quite clear that bushfires had ripped through at some point. See if you can spot the evidence of it. There was one section where it was like a tree cemetery.
Like any National Parks, there is also wildlife. As we walked through, we could hear so many different types of birds singing above us competing with the cicadas. There were birds of all shapes and sizes flying across the lake and colourful butterflies dancing past us as we walked. At one point, as we stopped to take some photos, we heard branches snapping and a grey fluffy animal bouncing away (we figured it was wallaby). Unfortunately, we were not quick enough to capture any of the wildlife on camera BUT we did capture a few burrows that we found along the way 🙂
As we walked, it was so peaceful to just hear the sounds of nature and nothing else except maybe the occasional plane flying overhead.
Hope you enjoy our photos this week!!
We are hoping “Weekend Walks” will become a regular feature of our blog as we are hoping that walking will become a regular feature in our weekends. Since our hike in Cradle Mountain, we have become inspired!
Our first weekend walk was in Cumberland State Forest. It is only about half an hour from Sydney and is the state’s only metropolitan forest. There are three tracks available for walking: 2 at moderate grade (approximately 1 km each) and 1 easy grade (approximately 350 m). All can be started and finished at the main car park near the Forest Visitor Centre which also has a nursery and cafe attached.
Hope you enjoy our photos… beware the funnel web, the bull ant (we think) and the 10-15kg Bunya Pine.