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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Canterbury > Arthurs Pass

Arthurs Pass

Arthurs Pass is a tiny village seated in a valley surrounded by the high peaks of the Southern Alps. Its main function is as a beginning, end or stopover for hikers traversing the mountains. It is also a stop on the east-west TranzAlpine train between Greymouth and Christchurch. The beautiful scenery (especially when snow is covering the peaks) makes for a lovely drive and it’s a great place to spend a day or two.

Practical information

Arthurs Pass National Park Visitor Centre

State Highway 73, Arthurs Pass
Tel (03) 318 9211
Website www.doc.govt.nz

Open 8am-5pm daily

Coming & going

The TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s most spectacular rail journey passes through Arthurs Pass on the route between Christchurch and Greymouth.


InterCity coaches don’t pass through here but Atomic Shuttles (tel (03) 322 8883) do on their Christchurch-Hokitika service.

Hostel accommodation

Mountain House YHA

Main Road, Arthurs Pass
Tel (03) 318 9258

No booking fee when you book this hostel online at bug.co.uk

Rata Lodge Backpackers

State Highway 73, Otira, Arthurs Pass
Tel (03) 738 2822

Hiking

Arthurs Pass National Park has a good selection of hiking trails.


Short walks include the Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall Walk (1 hour return), which follows the Bealey River and then climbs to the base of this impressive 131m waterfall. The easy Bridal Veil Track (1½ hours return) rewards you with nice views of Arthur’s Pass village. There is also a good selection of full day walks.


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