NZ Winter Adventure – Part Two: Ashburton Gorge

After spending an afternoon exploring Christchurch I met a friend at Christchurch airport and drove to Methven for the night. The following morning I slept in and was woken by housekeeping (they were stunned that people were still sleeping on such a beautiful day).

Mt Hutt from Methven
Mt Hutt from Methven

Following breakfast at a local cafe – and being entertained by friend’s confusion at the sounding of the volunteer fire service station alarm – we checked in with the local tourist information office for something to do in the area that didn’t involve skiing (my friend had hurt their leg so couldn’t go skiing). The attendant at the information centre suggested that drive up the Ashburton Gorge Road to Mt Sunday which had been used in Lord of the Rings as Edoras. The drive up the road was a lot of fun and we stopped many times to take photos of the amazing scenery – beautiful lakes, valleys and mountains. The road itself was a lot of fun to drive, unsealed with some large pot holes in places.

Ashburton Gorge Road
Ashburton Gorge Road
Lake Clearwater
Lake Clearwater

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Mt Sunday - Edoras
Mt Sunday – Edoras
Lake Camp
Lake Camp

After visiting Mt Sunday we backtracked to another road and headed up to Lake Heron.

Hakatere Heron Road
Hakatere Heron Road
Lake Heron
Lake Heron
Lake Heron
Lake Heron

Before driving back to Methven we found a shaded hill with a lot of snow where we made snow angels, snow balls, snowmen, and generally acted like silly goofs.

Finally, back in Methven we wrapped up the day with Fish, Chips and Beer at the Blue Pub.