Arthur’s Pass

The small alpine village of Arthur’s Pass is located between Canterbury and the West Coast of the South Island. Climbing to more than 900 metres through Arthur’s Pass National Park, it is the highest and most spectacular pass across the Southern Alps.

The road and rail tracks through this challenging environment are pieces of extreme engineering involving viaducts, bridges, rock shelters and waterfalls redirected into chutes. This is also the route of the famous Tranz Alpine Train journey.

Arthur’s Pass National Park itself is a landscape of two halves. Climbing the eastern side of the alps from Christchurch you’ll see wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and vast swathes of beech forest.  Then, as you descend the western side, you’ll pass through dense rainforest alongside and over deeply gorged rivers.

Visitors should look out for New Zealand’s inquisitive and comical alpine parrot, the kea, along the way. This is a rugged and beautiful part of New Zealand.