I haven’t done a single bad walk in Arthur’s Pass National Park, so when it comes to a best-of list it’s basically just a list of walks I’ve done. There’s quintessential New Zealand scenery on all of these tramps: a mix of high and often snow capped peaks, deep braided river valleys, rugged cliffs, and lush native forest. It’s pristine wilderness that is very accessible from Christchurch – a picturesque drive of roughly 1.5-2 hours.
Many of the walks are suitable more for experienced trampers, however I’ve started with a few moderate walks to get you going, then the harder and more adventurous ones. There’s more information on walks in the area on the DOC website and the Arthur’s Pass website.
Best Moderate Day-Walks in Arthur’s Pass National Park
The Woolshed Hill Track is an excellent walk of only moderate difficulty with great views over peaks & valleys from the summit at 1429m.
The Bealey Spur Track is a classic walk to viewpoints over the braided Waimakariri River Valley. For 360 degree views continue to a minor peak at 1545m.
There are top class 360 degree views of numerous mountain ranges and the Waimakariri Valley from the summit of Mt Bruce (1630m; technically just outside of Arthur’s Pass National Park, but close enough).
Best Hard Day-Walks in Arthur’s Pass National Park
Mt Cassidy – Blimit Traverse
Fabulous alpine views, lovely beech forest, and a good amount of adventure on the Mt Cassidy (1850m)– Blimit (1921m) Traverse.
Magnificent views on an adventurous route up through lush West Coast forest & along a rocky alpine ridge to Goat Hill (1656m) near Otira.
Mt Philistine from Otira Valley
The climb to Mt Phililstine (1967m) provides an adventurous alpine walking experience with fabulous views, including those of nearby Mt Rolleston.
Superb alpine scenery in all directions on this lesser known walk up Mt Aicken (1863m).
Fabulous scenery on this classic and somewhat adventurous circuit to Avalanche Peak (1833m).
Top class views of numerous peaks & two river valleys on this adventurous walk up Mt Binser (1860m).
A classic walk to the summit of Mt Bealey (1836m), with grand mountain and valley views most of the way.
Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut
A steep climb through lush West Coast forest to Kellys Hill (1394m) via Carroll Hut for excellent views over numerous peaks and valleys in Arthur’s Pass National Park and to the west.
Enjoy your walking! 🙂