Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area
The grand limestone rock battlements of Kura Tawhiti led early European travellers to name the area Castle Hill.
Climbers, families, students, scientists and travellers have always been drawn to this spectacular place, to explore its natural, cultural, historic and recreation values.
Learn about Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area's history and its significance to Maori, the geology that shaped the dramatic landscape, and the area's rare plant species.
Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill) is an ideal place for exploring, picnicking, bouldering or rock-climbing.
There is no camping permitted within the reserve. The closest DOC camping area is at Craigieburn Picnic Area, about 10 km towards Arthur’s Pass.
Find out how to get to Kura Tawhiti and the code of conduct you need to follow to protect the area.
Kura Tawhiti in the Arthur’s Pass region was once a meeting place for early Maori. This video looks at the wildlife that used to live here and what climbers and iwi are doing to protect this special place.
Find businesses that are DOC-approved to provide activities and services in Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area.
DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map
Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.
Walking track categories
Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:1. Plan your trip2. Tell someone3. Be aware of the weather4. Know your limits5. Take sufficient supplies
Alerts for Canterbury places