Castle Hill Reserve (Kura Tawhiti) is a landscape straight out of Middle Earth. Peter Jackson used it in his Lord Of The Rings films and it also features in the first Narnia movie, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We saw many wonderful sights during our campervan holiday in the South Island last week, but nothing was as strange as this other worldly place on the Christchurch to Arthurs Pass road. The swathe of grey limestone boulders, some of which seem to have taken on peculiar animal shapes as though turned to stone by a witch, is a popular area for bouldering, the art of rock climbing without ropes. I watched some people trying it on the smooth, icy cold surfaces but they just slid off. There are caves to explore too, but we didn’t have time. Besides, trolls live in caves, don’t they?


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