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, but great views over the eastern side of the park, so I’ve included it here).
Best Hard Day-Walks in Arthur’s Pass National Park
Fabulous alpine views, lovely beech forest, and a good amount of adventure on the Mt Cassidy (1850m)– Blimit (1921m) Traverse.
Fabulously rugged scenery on this adventurous walk up to Mt Barron (1730m) on the West Coast side of Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Magnificent views on an adventurous route up through lush West Coast forest & along a rocky alpine ridge to Goat Hill (1656m) near Otira.
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).
Excellent views, a lovely tarn, and a bit of adventure as you make your way through rocky terrain to Mt O’Malley (1703m) in Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Fabulous scenery on this classic and somewhat adventurous circuit to Avalanche Peak (1833m). This is the only fully marked route in this selection of harder walks, so not a bad one to start with.
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.
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.
Multiple attractive tarns and mountain views on this walk up onto the Kelly Range via Carroll Hut.
Enjoy your walking! 🙂