Starting back eastwards the next morning, we went back through Stillwater, past Lake Brunner and joined up with State Highway 73 through Arthur’s Pass. It was a fabulous day, bright clear blue skies and hot sunshine giving spectacular views of snow-capped mountains and sparkling rocky streams. Fortunately there were lots of stopping points so we took lots of photos, particularly at the Otira Gorge where the road passes under a concrete boulder shelter, and under a chute which carries a waterfall over the road. Then it was down to Klondyke Corner for a view of the plains opening out in the valley bottom before heading for the more open plains of the Canterbury.
We skirted round Christchurch and headed for Akaroa, a French settlement on the Banks Peninsular, an hour and a half south-east of Christchurch, along some winding hillside roads. The views over Akaroa Harbour were breath-taking, making the long 5+ hour drive from Greymouth worth it.
Our campsite was on the hillside above Akaroa, again with a host of mallard ducks to keep us amused, and a lit footpath down into the town. In the evening we walked into town for a drink and a look round the area. Most of the town was closed but there were a number of decent places to eat and drink and it came across as being a nice place, if a little touristy in a slightly pricey way.