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Arthur's Pass is an Alpine Village set on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. We are surrounded by the mountains and native forests of the Arthur's Pass National Park.
There are oodles of walking opportunities close to the Village and I've included the best, (in my opinion), here.
Short Walks (2 hours of less)
The best and shortest of our short walks is the Devils Punchbowl. An hour return walk takes you from town up to a 100m high waterfall. Lots of steps though! Best after heavy rain and you might get a little wet from the spray if thats the case.
The Bridle Veil is a little longer and takes you through a variety of vegetation, heading up towards the Pass itself! Best one close by for birdwatching! About 2 hours return although it can be extended up to and over the Main Divide.
Medium Walks (5 hours or less)
Temple Basin skifield is up above the Pass itself and can be reached by walking using the Bridle Veil track from town. The track up to the skifield (no road access), is in the open surrounded by sub alpine scrub and plants and has great views of the largest mountain close by, Mt Rolleston. From town it's about 5 hours return or you could cheat and drive up to the carpark, in which case 2 - 3 hours return.
Bealey Spur does require non foot transport as it is 13km from Arthur's Pass, but it is a gentle climb up to an old Musterers Hut and it has wonderful views out over the Waimakariri river and towards the big mountains of the Southern Alps. Return, 4-5 hours.
Long Walks (longer than 5 hours return)
Every mountain around Arthur's Pass has a track heading up it and the best (and easiest) is Avalanche Peak. At somewhere between 4 and 10 hours return, (depending on fitness!), most people who climb it find Avalanche Peak a challenge. The track is the only loop track in Arthur's Pass with one track leaving from the centre of town, and the other route just to the North of town. It's 1100m of climb to the summit and not a track for bad weather or deepest Winter (unless you have crampons and iceaxe and know how to use them!) Take plenty of food, water and good clothing in case you get wet/cold. Tell someone where you are going who would notice if you didn't come back!
Have a look here, http://www.arthurspass.com for the full rundown of walking information about Arthur's Pass. When you arrive be sure to drop into the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre. They have lots of walking information, and the latest weather and track information.
Written: 3 articles
The Mountain House is the alpine specialist in Arthur's Pass. We provide all ranges of accommodation and can assist with gear storage, tramping information, plus provide a trampers shuttle to get you out there. We are within 2 hours of Christchurch.