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Arthur's Pass National Park

Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand

Arthur's Pass National Park.
The spectacular Arthur's Pass National Park

Arthur's Pass National Park is on the east coast of South Island and is the highest pass over the Southern Alps. For the Maori it was known as a route between the east and west of the island. The park can be accessed easily from the city of Christchurch.

It was the 3rd to be established of New Zealand's 13 national parks in 1929 after Tongariro (1887), and Egmont (1900) and the first in the South Island. Abel Tasman and Fiordland national parks came next.

The park covers an area of over 1,180 square kilometres and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Arthur's Pass National Park.
The wonderful scenery of the National Park


The park is known for its spectacular mountain scenery, with high peaks, alpine meadows, and rugged valleys. The park's highest peak is Mount Murchison, which stands at 2,400 metres.

Arthur's Pass National Park offers a variety of hiking and walking trails, ranging from short, easy walks to multi-day hikes. The most popular trails in the park include the Arthur's Pass Walking Track, which is a three-day hike through alpine landscapes, and the Avalanche Peak Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

The park is also home to a number of unique and rare bird species, including the kea (a species of parrot), the New Zealand falcon (kārearea), and the rock wren. Other animals that can be found in the park include the New Zealand fur seal, the New Zealand sea lion, and the Southern Alps gecko.

There are several spectacular waterfalls in the park. These include the 130-metre-tall Devil's Punchbowl Falls near Arthur's Pass Village and Avalanche Creek Falls at 80 metres.

Twin Creek Falls drops over 115 metres. It can be accessed along Temple Basin Track.

The 440-metre-long Otira Viaduct spans the Otira Gorge and an artificial waterfall has been created over the road to carry excess water from side streams.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) Visitor Centre is at 104 West Coast Road, Arthur's Pass. Tel: 03 318 9211; 8.30 am to 4.30 pm daily.

Bealey Hotel.
Bealey Hotel


Visitors should head for Arthur's Pass Village for what accommodation and eating options are available.

Try the Arthur's Pass Motel & Lodge with free WiFi throughout.

The historic Bealey Hotel has lodge rooms and motel rooms with superb mountain views.

The Arthur's Pass Alpine Motel provides both free on-site parking and free Wi-Fi access.

Find accommodation in Arthur's Pass.

Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall.
Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall

Access - Getting There

The TranzAlpine train runs to Arthur's Pass from Christchurch or Greymouth. In fact, Arthur's Pass Railway Station is the highest working station in New Zealand. The route is considered one of the best train journeys in the world.

There are buses to Arthur's Pass Village from both Christchurch (2 hours, 30 minutes) and Greymouth (1 hour, 15 minutes).

By car, the drive from Christchurch is about 2 hours on State Highway 73.

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