Both the TranzAlpine train and the SH73 (promoted as the Great Alpine Highway) from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass and the West Coast thread across the fertile Canterbury Plains beside the braided Waimakariri River before crossing Porter’s Pass and dropping into a beautiful region alongside the Craigieburn Range. The road then passes the otherworldly boulders of Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill Conservation Area) and the Cave Stream tunnel walk, while side roads wind up to various club-style ski-fields.

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