The Arthurs Pass walking trail is one of the three hikes I did while in Arthurs Pass. This hike passes waterfalls, forests and epic mountain views.
The hike overall is quite easy to complete and can be completed by anyone with any level of fitness. There are a few uphill sections and stairs, but nothing major.
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Where is it?
The Arthurs Pass walking trail is in Arthurs Pass, which is about a 2-hour drive from Christchurch. The trailhead starts at the Devils Punchbowl Carpark, which is an epic waterfall I recommend you visit! If you are staying in Arthurs Pass village, you can easily access the trailhead by walking from your accommodation. The village is tiny, so it will only take you a few minutes to walk
Where to Stay?
If you are travelling around in a campervan like myself, I recommend staying at the Avalanche creek shelter. This DOC campsite is very basic, but it has bathrooms, drinking water and a shelter to cook. There are no designated camping spots, so simply find a spot that suits you and park up. This will cost you $10NZDpp/pn. It is right next to a trainline; however these trains do not run at night.
If you are looking for budget accommodation, I recommend the Mountain House YHA. A bed in an 8 person dorm will cost you $32NZD a night, where as a private room, $99NZD per night.
For something a bit more up market, there is the Arthurs Pass Motel and Lodge. There are a few other accommodations around the Arthurs Pass area, all three of these options are in the village, which makes it easy to access the walking trails.
This 6.8km return trail is very easy. It took me roughly 2.5hrs to complete, and that included having plenty of stops to take photos.
The hike follows the same route to the Devils Punchbowl trail, once crossing the bridge it branches off to the left. From here you will be walking through a series of dense forest and openings. The trail only has a few sections which have some step stairs, otherwise it is reality flat. While walking through the open parts of the track, on a clear day you will be treated to views of the surrounding mountains.
You will pass several waterfalls along the track, one being Bridal Veil Creek. There are also plenty to see on the distance mountains. After walking for about 1-2hrs you will cross the highway, where you can see Jacks Hut. Jacks Hut is a restored roadman’s cottage.
The trail continues at Bealey Chasam carpark, from here you will follow the track through old-growth mountain beech. Keep an eye out for the many birds that inhabit this area!
After crossing a stream, there is an intersection where you can turn right to cross the road again to Temple Basin Car park or turn left to follow the Dobson Nature Walk. I never ended up walking to Temple Basin, as I could see it from the lookout at the end of the Dobson Nature Walk. Also by this time on my trip, my legs were not looking forward to any more hills!
You then follow the same track back to your car or accommodation.
This was a pleasant walk to do in Arthurs Pass, giving you a good look at the scenery and different landscapes this area has to offer, without being too strenuous. Although I enjoyed this hike, If you only have a few hours in the National Park or are just passing through, I’d give it a miss.
Gorgeous as it was, I fear it may bore some people as there not real extravagant views at the end of the trail.