Arthur’s Pass Walking Track
1 h 20 min
Bird-watching on the Arthur's Pass Walking Track
This walk presents the best of Arthur’s Pass. It has diverse alpine vegetation, waterfalls, wetlands and rich history, interspersed with stunning views of the mountains. The track gradient is generally gentle, with some steep steps either side of Bridal Veil Creek.
Start at the Punchbowl, Bealey Chasm (Jacks Hut) or Temple Basin car parks to walk all or part of the track and return the same way.
From Punchbowl car park it’s a 20 minute walk to the Bridal Veil Falls lookout through subalpine mountain beech forest and Dracophyllum to a small clearing with a picnic table, good views of the falls, surrounding peaks and Arthur’s Pass village. Note the intense red leaves of the Dr Seuss-like Dracophyllum in spring/summer.
After crossing Bridal Veil Creek, the track travels through alpine shrublands and wetlands before reaching Jacks Hut – a restored roadman’s cottage.
At Jacks Hut cross SH73 to Bealey Chasm car park and follow the track through old-growth mountain beech – a good place for bird watching.
At the intersection with the Dobson Nature Walk turn right to cross the road again to the Temple Basin car park or turn left to follow the Dobson Nature Walk to the Arthur’s Pass lookout on the summit of the Pass.
On the Dobson Nature Walk
From here look across the road at the Dobson Memorial – commemorating Arthur Dudley Dobson, the surveyor who gave the modern name to Arthur’s Pass. This is the highest point on the road before it drops to the West Coast.
Please return on the same track. The main highway is unsafe to walk on and should not be used.
Child/family friendly activities
Plan and prepare
Be safe and beware - this is mountain country
- Take warm clothing and raincoat, sunhat and sunscreen, something to eat and drink and strong footwear. Mountain weather can change quickly.
- Check the weather forecast before you go.
- Walking on tracks and routes above the bushline (the upper edge of the forest) is recommended only in good weather conditions.
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.
Discover Arthur's Pass brochure (PDF, 3,776K)