We left Hokitika for Christchurch, our final destination on the South Island of New Zealand, as well as our last five days in New Zealand. We drove over Arthur’s Pass and planned to stop at Castle Hill, a place Scott had discovered looking through a New Zealand coffee table book in our apartment in Queenstown. Castle Hill is one of those “places in between.” It is a limestone boulder covered hillside on the private land of a high country station (many acres used for grazing sheep and cattle). The rocks are arranged in such a way that one can easily imagine the ruins of a medieval castle but it reminded me of Stonehenge. Regardless, of what these formations make one think of, it is a rock climbers playground and the Dalai Lama was so inspired by Castle Hill that he named it the “Spiritual Center of the Universe” in 2002 when he visited.
You don’t have to have an affinity for bouldering to appreciate the beauty of these rocks or enjoy the trails.
Scott was first up on a huge castle piece.
The kids were quick to follow. You can see the grazing land in the background.
There are tiny people all over and on top of the big rocks. It’s strange how voices carry and you can hear pieces of conversations across the valley.
Ashley climbed a lot of boulders and she really didn’t like this picture. She told me that it was really hard work to get up on that rock and the picture makes it look like she’s relaxing.
This was a hard climb and one that Scott didn’t get up.
But, Scott climbed a lot too.
Grant took pictures…
…while he and I hid out in the shade and watched the world go by (at least a little bit of it).