Finally it was time to get a close look at the Southern Alps. Going West from Christchurch you eventually pass two bridges over the Rakaia Gorge. A short walk gives you a good view over that area.
The first mountain to climb was Mt. Somers. Here a view back the way we came:
Going up the Miners Track you eventuall reach - no surprise - a mine:
On the way back to the main road I tried to chase down a rabbit for dinner but he was just too quick:
We put up our tent for the night at Lake Clearwater, a beautiful location but in Spring it has still morning frost...brrrrr... But the view in the morning lets you almost forget the cold:
A closer look at the mountains:
Just 15km more into the mountains waits another famous LOTR attraction: Edoras, previously known as Mt. Sunday. It's not really a mount though, just a hill in a valley, but the surrounding mountains are quite impressive.
View from the top: