Best Day-Hikes in Arthur’s Pass National Park

Quintessential New Zealand scenery on these classic day-walks in Arthur’s Pass National Park, all accessible from Christchurch on a day-trip.

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park

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

Woolshed Hill

Woolshed Hill Track, Arthur's Pass
The Waimakariri Valley viewed from Woolshed Hill.

The Woolshed Hill Track is an excellent walk of only moderate difficulty with great views over peaks & valleys from the summit at 1429m.

Bealey Spur

Bealey Spur Track to point 1545m, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Waimakariri Valley from Bealey Spur.

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.

Mt Bruce

Mt Bruce Circuit, Craigieburn Forest Park
Climbing Mt Bruce.

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

Mt Cassidy - Blimit Traverse, Arthur's Pass
Views on the Mt Cassidy – Blimit Traverse.

Fabulous alpine views, lovely beech forest, and a good amount of adventure on the Mt Cassidy (1850m)– Blimit (1921m) Traverse.

Goat Hill

Goat Hill via Barrack Creek Route, Arthur's Pass
Looking towards Mt Rolleston and Mt Stuart from Goat Hill.

Magnificent views on an adventurous route up through lush West Coast forest & along a rocky alpine ridge to Goat Hill (1656m) near Otira.

Mt Aicken

Mt Aicken ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
Descending from Mt Aicken, with Mt Rolleston looming large in the background.

Superb alpine scenery in all directions on this lesser known walk up Mt Aicken (1863m).

Avalanche Peak

Avalanche Peak Circuit, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Crow Valley from Avalanche Peak.

Fabulous scenery on this classic and somewhat adventurous circuit to Avalanche Peak (1833m).

Mt Binser

Mt Binser ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Waimakariri Valley from rugged Mt Binser.

Top class views of numerous peaks & two river valleys on this somewhat adventurous walk up Mt Binser (1860m).

Mt Bealey

Mt Bealey ascent, Arthur's Pass National Park
The Crow Valley from the summit of Mt Bealey.

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

Kellys Hill via Carroll Hut, Arthur's Pass
Beginning our descent from Kellys Hill back down to 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! 🙂

Avalanche Peak Circuit, Arthur's Pass National Park
A New Zealand Falcon / kārearea in Arthur’s Pass National Park.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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