After spending time in Christchurch we headed up and over the mountains to the west coast. The winding pass from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass is, to put it simply, intimidating. The road itself is narrow and the beauty that surrounds it is imposing.
The sheer faces of the 1587m high mountains seem to rise vertically and with little slope into the heavens. The valley floor is wide and cut with meandering streams and rivers that slow to pause at clear lakes that sit like mirrors for the vanity of the mountains. It is nothing short of breathtaking.
As the road begins its descent into Greymouth you get to experience Kiwi ingenuity at it's finest.
Water is funneled from great heights by concrete shoots that extend, like an awning, over the highway. The highway is truely that. A narrow winding bridge that hovers in space above the turmoil of rocks and water below.
Just as you begin to zone into a peaceful state of humbleness the landscape changes to forest covered hills with enormous fern trees that seem almost tropical. Lush and green the climate becomes wetter and warmer as you approach the coast.