Wards Pass

Wards Pass, closed by snowfalls for long periods

Wards Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.145m (3,757ft) above the sea level, located in the Rachel Range of the Inland Kaikoura Ranges of New Zealand's northern South Island. 

The road to the summit is unpaved. It's called Acheron Road and runs between Blenheim and Hanmer Springs. Proper preparation is essential to having a safe, enjoyable trip on this road. The pass lies between the valleys of the upper Acheron and Awatere Rivers. The surface on this gravel road is often loose, especially along the sides of the road. No caravans, buses or vehicles over 7 m long, and you need a permit to tow a trailer. 2WD or AWD cars can do this trip just fine, just so long as they've got a sensible amount of clearance. During the summer season, the road is open 7 am – 7 pm from Labour weekend Saturday to Easter Monday or the second Sunday in April (whichever is the later date).
Pic: NordieBoy

 

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