This superbly scenic national park is in Central Canterbury, rising out of the plains. A magnet for wintertime skiers and summertime hikers, Arthur’s Pass National Park is also a popular day trip from Christchurch.
Easy day walks fan out from the visitor information center, leading to vantage points affording panoramic views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks.
Providing an instant snapshot of New Zealand's legendary natural beauty, a day trip to the park also reveals glimpses of extensive beech forests, rainforest, mountain passes and soaring peaks.
If you're planning on experiencing a bit of New Zealand 'tramping' (the NZ word for hiking) take note that this is tricky territory, and for experienced hikers only. Tracks are not continuously marked, and they can involve river crossings, plus the weather is notoriously changeable.
Arthur's Pass National Park is on New Zealand's South Island, two hours northwest of Christchurch.
The town of Arthur's Pass is on the main bus route between Christchurch and Greymouth; the scenic TranzAlpine train also comes through here daily. If you’re driving from Christchurch, take Highway 73.