Diamantina - what can you tell me about Castle Hill

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Oct 29th, 2017, 10:50 AM
  #1
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Diamantina - what can you tell me about Castle Hill

It's been on my radar for awhile, but not sure if it's worth the effort to incorporate it into a rapidly filling month long SI itinerary in May...as is so often is the case, I'm running short on days.
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Oct 29th, 2017, 03:20 PM
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Sorry, Melnq8, I don't know it (but I'm flattered you'd think I would). I've just just looked up in the direction of these rock formations while on the road to Arthur's Pass. I'm not so attracted to this scenery, as Elephant Rocks in Waitaki Valley looks very similar and is closer (though not as mountainous, and I know you prefer tall mountains). I'm more of a coastal scenery and island lover.

It's funny, I was thinking of staying in Arthur's Pass in December, because I've not yet explored this area (and felt I should), and because I was thinking of going to the South island Food and Wine Festival in Christchurch on Dec. 2. In the end I decided I'm perfectly happy here. Some other time perhaps.

I'm trying to figure out where I should go, too, and probably in May as well, as I have some Air New Zealand miles about to expire. Thinking of revisiting Tasmania or someplace new like Fiji or Niue, but holiday planning is too much work. I might just use my miles to order a case of wine.

Sorry to be of no help.
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Oct 29th, 2017, 04:17 PM
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Ha! Brilliant wine drinkers think alike!

Those rocks do look a bit bleak...(and there's no rock shortage here in the Rockies). I just want to make sure I've not left any stone unturned (!), but perhaps I'm grasping at straws.

I'm always on the look out for something obscure, something new amidst the familiar, yet I keep finding myself attracted to more of the same.

Thanks anyway.
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Oct 30th, 2017, 04:19 PM
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Mel

Are you making it this far? Or only to NZ ?
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Oct 31st, 2017, 01:58 AM
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margo - only to NZ (this time).
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Nov 5th, 2017, 10:11 AM
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I thought they were interesting, but not something you'd go out of your way for.

Here's Scott Cook's very descriptive blurb on them: http://motorcamps.com/content/castle-hill

And his pictures: https://nzfrenzysouth.wordpress.com/b7/
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Nov 5th, 2017, 11:44 AM
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Thanks deSchenke.
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Nov 7th, 2017, 11:30 PM
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I've spent many a weekend escaping to Castle Hill (assuming we're talking about the same place).

There's than the rocks themselves (I mean the area after Lake Lyndon and before CH Village, where you can walk up around the rocks and on a weekend you'll find many people rock climbing amongst them).

Castle Hill village - which has many holiday homes of Chch folk who enjoy skiing at Porters or the early club ski fields in winter. Covenants on the development means that they had to built in wood/chalet style. There are a number of walks accessible directly from the village - up to to the scree slope behind the village (don't know the name of this) and through the beech forests.

A wee bit further on is Cave stream - you can actually take yourself through the cave system - and be amazed that there is no restriction on anyone doing this. If you're not into caves, then you can at least walk to see the cave entrance and exits. In summer you used to be able to swim here in a swimming hole near the cave exit, but last time I was there the track was closed - I'm not sure if that's a permanent thing.

A few more minutes up the road are a number of day walking and biking tracks in the Craigieburn forest park. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...#activitypanel

I'm sure there'll be places to stay on airbnb or bookabach in CH village. Another option would be Flock Hill station http://www.flockhill.co.nz/Accommodation
I've stayed here too (many moons ago).

There used to be no cellphone reception in Castle Hill village. This may have changed, but if important to you may be worth checking. Also there are no shops in the village, so make sure you've got all you need with you. Considering it's only an hour from Christchurch, it's a great little getaway in the mountains.
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Nov 8th, 2017, 04:08 AM
  #9
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Thank you littlestkiwi - a very helpful, comprehensive answer indeed!

FWIW cell phone coverage isn't even blip on our radar
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