New Zealand is home to many braided rivers. A braided river is one that has many channels criss-crossing over each other, looking like a braid. One such braided river is the Waimakariri, one of the largest rivers in Canterbury. On its journey from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, it creates a wide valley below Arthur’s Pass. This valley is just about a 2-hour drive from our house, leaving it within my reach between school drop-off and pick-up.
I drove up north along the foothills. The twists and turns offered many fantastic vistas.
Eventually the road spilled out just above the wide river bed with stunning scenery in all directions. The clouds were rolling in and out as I stopped at a pull-out on the side of the road. Photography is so much about being at the right place at the right time. Because just at that moment, the clouds parted slightly and sunlight speared down onto the braids of the Waimak.
A few minutes later, the clouds closed up again and the view was gone. I drove on along the river with the mountains looming around me.
After a while I crossed the bridge over the Waimak and had a clear view up the valley. Fantastic vistas around me, and nobody around.
I did not make it to Arthur’s Pass on this excursion. That only makes another trip up this way that much more enticing!