Avalanche Peak can be climbed from the road at Arthurs Pass in just a few hours. There's some scrambling involved but it's not difficult. Report to the rangers station before you leave especially if there's snow. And unlike some of the great walks, such as the Queen Charlotte Track, you're above the tree line so the views are great.
Half way between Greymouth and Christchurch, South Island.
Christchurch has a certain line in unusual transportation/dining experiences that has to be unique. Not only can you eat while riding around town on an old tram, but you can also do so in a gondola. Okay, I exaggerate – the Summit Cafe where you dine is at the top of the gondola – but it’s close.
You can of course use the gondola to go up to the ridge of the Port Hills at any time during the day, and the views over the city, or down the other side to Lyttelton Harbour, are superb. And hiring a bike there to speed back down is a thrill, albeit a mild one by NZ standards. But getting up there just before dusk, in time to see the sun set across the plains and the city lights come on, well, it’s romantic enough to bring a tear to an All Black’s eye. And the food is worth staying for too.
Telephone: (63-3) 3840707
Location: Top of the Gondola.
The Port Hills sit above Christchurch and give you amazing views across the city, the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps. Stunning sunsets. You can drive, hike or cycle up... and there is some great mountain biking tracks as well as rock climbing - all 20mins from the centre of the city.
South of the City Centre - you can't miss them.
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