Sunday, August 30, 2009
Passing through Porters
Porters Pass, 88 kilometres west of Christchurch is the highest point in the journey from east to west (it’s 20 metres higher than Arthur’s Pass, further into the journey). It is also one of the prettiest spots, especially in winter, when it attracts many visitors, who come to toboggan the slopes, ice skate on nearby Lake Lyndon, or just to play in the snow. Nearby Porter’s Pass Skifield is also popular with skiers and many will be pleased to hear the skifield is on the verge of a major multi-million dollar expansion.
I’ve never been a snow bunny myself, so I’m more attracted to the area because of its geography. The landscapes here are magnificent and ever-changing at any time of the year and as you stand in the middle of it all, it’s hard to imagine the 19th century pioneers walking across the pass to the goldfields on the West Coast. They must have been a hardy bunch. I drove up to the pass a couple of days ago and while the weather was foul – driving rain and wind – I still managed to stop and photograph a very pretty group of stark birch trees. I think I can now safely say I have photographs of Porter’s Pass from every season, every time of the day and in every possible weather variation – which might be one of my oddest boasts.