Read details...


Short walks on Arthur's Pass walking tracks ranging from 10 minutes to 3 hours return. See waterfalls, forest or alpine views.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Various times from 10 minutes to 3 hours return Easiest: Short walk
Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Millennium Walk

Time: 10 min return

This easy walk starts beside the Visitor Centre. Follow the path along the base of the hill towards the village. Small trout are often seen in Avalanche Creek from the historic bridge. From here, the path goes up to a viewing platform overlooking the Avalanche Creek Waterfall, which is lit at night.

Village historic and interpretive walk

Time: 1 hr 30 min round trip

This leisurely, easy walk takes you around Arthur’s Pass village to historic sites. At each site photographs show you how the village used to look in the early 1900’s. A pamphlet for this walk is available from the Arthur’s Pass Visitor Centre.

Devils Punchbowl Waterfall

Time: 1 hr return

Devils Punchbowl Falls, photo S Webb.
Walkers admire the Devils Punchbowl Falls from the viewing platform at the base of the falls

The top of this spectacular fall (131 metres) can be seen from the main road, but a walk to the base of the waterfall is well worth doing in any weather, any time of the year.

From Punchbowl car park (signposted off the highway), a footbridge crosses the Bealey River. The next bridge over Devils Punchbowl Creek has a good view of the waterfall. From here, a series of steps climb 150 vertical metres to a viewing platform at the base of this spectacular waterfall. Return the same way.

Arthur's Pass Walking Track

Time: 1 h 20 min (one way)

This walk presents the best of Arthur’s Pass, and connects the walks at the summit of Arthur's Pass to the village. It has diverse alpine vegetation, waterfalls, wetlands and rich history, interspersed with stunning views of the mountains.
(For a full description see Arthur's Pass Walking Track).

Bealey Valley

Time: 5 min to Bealey Chasm, or 25 min to track end (both times one way)

From the car park opposite Jacks Hut, the track follows a short section of the Arthur's Pass Walking Track before branching off to cross Bealey Chasm – a narrow channel where the river cascades over huge boulders.

For stunning views of Mt Rolleston, continue on for a couple of minutes, climbing a hill to a snowgrass clearing. The track re-enters the beech forest and ends when you reach the Bealey River. This track is subject to avalanche hazard in winter past this point; please heed the warning signs.

Dobson Nature Walk

Time: 15 min (one way)

The track starts at the Temple Basin car park. After approx 200m, cross the road and follow the track as it leads you in a semi-circle through a rich variety of subalpine and alpine plants, including herbs, tussocks, shrubs and flowers and the Mt Cook buttercup Ranunculus lyallii. The alpine flowers are in bloom from November to February.

There are a few interpretation points along the walk and seats along the way with good views of the surrounding mountains. An excellent self-guided booklet about the different native plants and their habitats is available from the Arthur’s Pass Visitor Centre.

The track finishes opposite the Dobson Memorial on the other side of the road. Lake Misery Walking Track leading to the Otira Valley Track starts here. You can either return the same way to the car park, or walk further.

Lake Misery Track

Time: 20 min (one way)

This link track turns off the Dobson Nature Walk to take you through to the Otira Valley Track when Lake Misery is low (when the lake is high the board walk is under water!) . Walk through tall red tussock to the Otira Valley Track, which you can either walk up to the footbridge, or down to the car park on SH 73. (For the Otira Valley Track see Arthur's Pass half-day walks).

Old Coach Road

Time: 30 min return

This pleasant forest walk starts and finishes near Greyneys Shelter, six km east of Arthur’s Pass village. It follows a gently-graded section of the century-old coach road and leads back to the shelter on a more recent track.

The coach road was cut into the hillside to avoid the Bealey riverbed, which is prone to floods. You can still see sections of old rock-walling along one part of the track. It is suitable for all-terrain baby buggies. At the northern end of the track there is a rope handrail. You can use it for guidance, so shut your eyes and use your other senses as you move through the forest.

Cockayne Nature Walk

Time: 30 min return

This rough loop track winds through the diverse podocarp broadleaf forest of the West Coast. The track starts from the car park at the end of the side road, just on the west side of the Kellys Creek State Highway 73 bridge, 17 km west of Arthur’s Pass. It climbs up over a small hill and comes out near State Highway 73 with a short track leading back to the car park. The track is named after Dr Leonard Cockayne, a renowned botanist who provided the original inspiration to create Arthur’s Pass National Park.

Getting there

Most of the short walks start at or near the Arthur's Pass village, on SH 73, about 150 km from Christchurch.

Several bus services run between Christchurch and the West Coast daily, stopping at the village. The Tranzalpine scenic train journey also stops at Arthur's Pass.

Know before you go

Take warm clothing and raincoat, sunhat and sunscreen, something to eat and drink and strong footwear. Mountain weather can change quickly.

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

Back to top