New Zealand – Arthur’s Pass

This trip started with a long flight to Auckland, followed by a transfer to Christchurch, where we met Sarah (yay!) cruised by some lingering earthquake-crushed city blocks, had an inexplicably slow brunch, and finally made our way to Arthur’s Pass. Arthur’s Pass sits conveniently between Christchurch and Franz Josef Glacier. Since we pulled in just at sunset, we had about half an hour to walk around and explore before dinner.

As we parked our car, we saw a weird green parrot on the ground. Someone’s escaped pet, clearly. Just as clearly, we were New Zealand newbies. As we’d discover in about five minutes due to ubiquitous signage, we had just met the nation’s second most famous bird, the wily Kea. Snapper of shoelaces, thief of anything shiny, and destroyer of anything left unattended. The folks at the hostel weren’t as friendly as the bird was, but I suppose you’re paying for a bed, not smiles.

Food time yet?

So, in the last gray bits of daylight, we wandered down to the train station. There was a train coming through! Exciting. The township is tiny, by the way: .6 square kilometers/ .2 square miles.

Train chugging through Arthur’s Pass

The Wobbly Kea was still open after 8pm, making it our choice for dinner, versus the adjacent Arthur’s Pass Store & Cafe. The Wobbly Kea is known for pizza. Foursquare says they’re known for pizza. Sarah heard from someone that their pizza is “soooo good.”


I’ve had better pizza. I’m trying hard to think of worse pizza.

Once I was served poorly microwaved pizza at the Grand Canyon. Northern Rim. In second grade. Still remember being confused by the icy-crunchy cheese. Anyhow, The Wobbly Kea has quite a quirky cozy ambience, which perhaps contributed to higher pizza-expectations. And really, it was fully cooked and piping hot, and who am I to expect more on a desolate mountain township with a population of 50? (A snobby California foodie, that’s who. Call it like it is.)

Made some calls to figure out the next day’s heli-hike, and lights out.


  1. Wishing you fun, footloose and fancy free adventure in New Zealand!
    As for the pizza, since it was our go to food, I can commiserate over trying to find great pizza. We found some in Philly years ago delivered quite a few times from Giuseppie’s, with good crust, chewy dough, just the right thick/thiness, homemade sauce, gobs of cheese and of course, mushrooms. Then again, when you’re voraciously hungry almost anything tastes heavenly.

  2. Oh, I am not there now. This stuff is all old. I’m just finally getting around to writing things up.

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