New Zealand

Selwyn District

Here you’ll find travel reports about Selwyn District. Discover travel destinations in New Zealand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
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  • Day132

    We woke up at 3am to an almighty crash of thunder and water pouring in the back of the van. After blearily looking around for something to catch it in we opted for a saucepan. That lasted all of 3 minutes until we realised that perhaps the saucepan wasn't big enough to catch the volume of water pouring in through the top of the back door. The ring of the water hitting the pan would have also driven us insane. We then upgraded to a bucket which we precariously balanced on the end of the bed.

    When checking the weather in the morning, we found at least 3 different forecasts, all of which generally focused around rain. A cycle ride was therefore not that appealing so we popped into the Greymouth information centre who told us that it should be dry around Arthur's Pass this afternoon so that's where we headed.

    On the drive there it started relatively clear and then we drove into some of the worst downpours ever. We crept at like 30kph with the wipers on full so that we didn't drive over the edge of the very windy roads. In the distance however we could see blue sky so we weren't completely disheartened. Not far from Arthur's Pass village we drove into blue skies and there were even glimpses of the sun! I was literally cheering driving into the car park.

    We popped into the information centre to make sure none of the paths were closed and were told the Devils Punchbowl (which was one I was particularly looking forward to) would be a great choice due to all the rainfall. All geared up we started the 1 hour return walk. It was a bit drizzly but the falls at the end were pretty spectacular. Once back at the van we had a little visitor in the form of a kaka trying to join us for lunch. He was quite happily chomping away on the seal around the back doors of van. Now we know why so much water pours in the back when it rains!

    Luckily whilst we had lunch the rain had hit and passed again so we decided to get back out and walk along Arthur's Pass to the Bridal Veil lookout and back. It was a nice walk and we were there and back in around 40 minutes or so. Time for our afternoon tea and chicken noodle snack before being on our way back to Greymouth.
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  • Day1

    Heading to the West Coast on the great scenic rail journey of NZ, the Tranz Alpine Express. Taking in mountain views, rivers, gorges and changing to temperate rain forest nearing the West Coast at the destination of Greymouth. En route is an 8 km tunnel, which at the time of building was the longest tunnel in the world. At the present time this is the only passenger route running on the South Island, but once the rail networks were a life line, the past history of this visible along the route.Read more

  • Day11

    We woke up to a rainy south island east cost, with no cellphone reception to check the weather elsewhere. We started driving west in the hope that we will have better luck weather wise.

    We drove through Arthur's pass which is renowned for its scenic views of the so called southern Alps, but we saw only the foot of the mountains and rain clouds.

    After 6 hours of driving we arrived at the west coast where the sun was shining. We could only look back and see the beautiful mountains behind us. Its a shame we did not get to see it in the pass, some you win some you lose I guess.

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  • Day55

    We awoke to a fresh layer of snow…there goes our planned hike for the pass. I’ll have to come back here someday, they have some great off track hikes in this region. Just need some river crossing and avalanche training.

    We opted to flee the frigid weather and make the long drive up to Nelson (only 5 hours, longest drive yet). Along the way we finished our first audio book Dune and have now started Lord of the Rings which the surrounding landscape really brings alive.

    We have arrived at Nelson which feels like a big city compared to the recent places we have been. We have settled in to plan our next 4 day trek in Abel Tasman and treated ourselves to a movie night.
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  • Day17

    This area has special significance to Nga-i Tahu, with ties that stretch unbroken from distant ancestors to present generations.

    Kura Ta-whiti literally means "the treasure from a distant land", referring to the kumara that was once cultivated in this region. Kura Tawhiti was claimed by the Nga-i Tahu ancestor Tane Tiki, son of celebrated chief Tuahuriri. The nearby mountains were famed for kakapo, and Tane Tiki wanted their soft skins and glowing green feathers for clothing to be worn by his daughter Hine Mihi.

    Such stories link Nga-i Tahu to the landscape. The traditional knowledge of trails, rock shelters and rock drawings, and places for gathering kai (food) in the area known as Kura Tawhiti form an integral part of past and present tribal identity.

    Kura Tawhiti has To-puni status, which is a legal recognition of the site's importance to the Nga-i Tahu tribe. The term comes from the traditional custom of chiefs extending power and authority over areas or people by placing a cloak over them.

    The existing status of the land as a conservation area is unchanged, but To-puni status ensures that Ngai Tahu values are recognised, acknowledged and respected and Ngai Tahu take an active role in management. It recognises Nga-i Tahu mana whenua and rangatiratanga and symbolises the tribe's commitment to conservation.

    Landforms - Sculptures in stone
    The geology of the rocks at Kura Ta-whiti is tertiary limestone, mudstone, sandstone and tuffs. Limestone is formed from layers of organic sediment, deposited in deep oceans far from land. The layers are compressed into soft, soluble rock.

    The area was once under a large, shallow inland sea that began to infill some 30 million years ago. Pressure over time caused extensive uplift and folding and faulting of the Torlesse and Craigieburn Ranges.

    Thrust up from their origin, the limestone rock was eroded by water into these distinctive sculptured landforms, called a karst landscape.

    This place is very popular with climbers and people who like bouldering.

    I thought it was absolutely stunning. 🗻🌞
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  • Day140

    About twenty minutes down the road we found luckily a quiet spacious and free campground where we pitched our tent surrounded by the mountains, some sandflies and later on even some Te Araroa walkers which I had a good chat with a made happy with Snickers and snacks we had in the trunk of our car and didn't wanted them ourself anymore.

  • Day140

    After about four hours we reached tired but happy the summit and got to each our lunch which we took with us and got some rest for a while. It was definitely worth it! Even though this extremely steep ascent marked, looking backwards, for me the end of fun and interest of longer hikes...

  • Day140

    After a while, the most strenuous part has been finished and we got above the tree line. From here it was still a upwards ascent, but got closer to walking rather than climbing. And in addition we got better views towards our surroundings.

  • Day68

    This week we are helping out with the TransNZ Enduro, a 5-day epic mountain bike race covering some of the best riding spots on the South Island. We arrived on Friday afternoon to get to know the other crew and be briefed on what's involved in the role of course marshal.

    The next day we had a sneaky preview of the first day's stages on a marshal pre-race ride which took us through some amazing native beech forest and had us all stoked for the next days racing! The first 2 days of the race are based in Craigieburn, just over an hour from Christchurch and feature an amazing variety of riding, from loamy beech forest, to steep exposed ski field scree, to loose dusty downhill tracks.

    Two unbelievable days of racing went down before we started the long drive to Queenstown for the rest of the week's action! It feels like a return home for us after having just come from 2 and a half weeks of biking there ourselves, and we are excited to re-run some of our favourites!

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You might also know this place by the following names:

Selwyn District, Selwyn-Distrikt, District de Selwyn, Distretto di Selwyn, 셀윈 구, Daerah Selwyn, ضلع سلوائن, Селуин

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