Castle Hill completely took my breath away. I absolutely loved everything about this area. It was grand, mysterious, peaceful and utterly intriguing! The Castle Hill boulders are a geological feature near to Castle Hill Village and Arthur’s Pass. They are 100km west of Christchurch on the South Island, New Zealand. The grey limestone boulders are named for resembling the ruins of an old stone castle. They range in size from one to a whopping fifty meters high! Strewn around the countryside, they can be found in two locations, Homestead and Flock Hill.
This was our last little adventure before returning our rental car. I couldn’t be happier that we didn’t miss this one! We saw a few pictures of Castle Hill online, but I assumed that most of them were highly edited. I was wrong – this place is phenomenal. I was mystified by the Moeraki Boulders… and then I came to Castle Hill, and I was BLOWN AWAY!
Interesting fact… These limestone rock formations are the water eroded remnants of limestone. They wereformed during the Oligocene age 30-40 million years ago. During this time, much of present day New Zealand was covered by the sea. WOW!
The drive to Castle Hill did not disappoint!
Off we Go…
We parked in the carpark and then followed a track that looped it’s way around the magnificent limestone rock formations. The real joy of this area is heading off the track and exploring at your own pace. And that is exactly what we did!
Claim to Fame
Climbing websites state that Castle Hill is truly a unique place. This draws climbers from all over the world to go “bouldering”, a bare-hand climbing style often not involving the use of any equipment, relying on skill and improvisation and with it’s own code of ethics for practice.
A more recent claim to fame was being the scenic setting for the climax of the 2005 film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe”. Scenes from the films “Lord of the Rings” were also filmed here too and have drawn in visitors to this amazingly beautiful area.
MUST DO’S FOR CASTLE HILL:
- Pack a picnic and find a hidden spot on-top or next to one of the giant rocks.
- Watch out for the enthusiastic climbers taking advantage of this epic location.
- Get lost among these sleeping giants. It is truly a magical experience.