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Arthur's Pass short walking tracks

Track category

Walking track

Description

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.

A signpost just north of Arthur's Chalet points to the carpark where the walk starts. The track goes up the side of the Bealey River and over two footbridges before zig-zagging up steps through the mountain beech forest to the waterfall's base. 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).

Dobson Nature Walk

Nature walk loop

Time: 30 min return

This track, on the summit of Arthur’s Pass, offers a good introduction to the sub-alpine and alpine plants of this area. The alpine flowers are in bloom from November to February. An excellent self guided natural history booklet for this walk is available from the Arthur’s Pass Visitor Centre.

The evenly graded track passes through a variety of alpine herbs, tussocks and shrubs. It also gives good views of the surrounding mountains.

To Otira Valley

Time: 1 hr 30 min return

When Lake Misery is low, you can carry on from the Nature Walk past the wetland area and through tall red tussock to 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, 6 km south 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 rockwalling along one part of the track. It is suitable, but challenging for people using wheelchairs and for young children. 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

The loop track starts from the carpark at the end of the side road behind Kellys Creek. It winds through the diverse podocarp-broadleaf forest of the West Coast.  It climbs up over a small hill and comes back out near the shelter. A short connecting track leads back to the carpark. 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.

Plan and prepare

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.


Related link 

Discover Arthur's Pass brochure (PDF, 3,776K)

 

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Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

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Contacts

Arthur's Pass National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 318 9211
Address:   State Highway 73
Arthur's Pass
Email:   arthurspassvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Rangiora Office
Phone:      +64 3 313 0820
Email:   waimakariri@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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