Check out the Kea at the Otira Lookout. The viaduct and the old road are pretty impressive, the Southern Alps all around you awesome, and when the Kea are around riding the wind or playing the fool, it’s NZ in a nutshell. Honourable mention is the Visitor Centre in the village, check out the old stage coach and imagine the brave folks teetering over the old road on that!
Other things to do in Arthur’s Pass
Arthur’s Pass is the least developed national park in the country, and with strict ‘no-fly’ rules above, you’re guaranteed to have the Great Outdoors to yourself in solitude.
Short walks from the village: The Punchbowl Falls, the Bealey Valley, the new Arthur’s Pass walking track, the Bridal Veil Track and Temple basin. You can actually walk all the way from the village up to the Dobson memorial on these tracks now.
Longer walks: Lots of options, from day walks like the Bealey Spur to overnight challenges like the Goat Pass. For something way off the grid, hike to the hot springs at Otehake Gorge (a real tough track, this one). Check out the DOC website for more.
Avalanche Peak: A real challenge, with a steep climb of 1,100m / 3600 feet from the village, but the most popular day hike / climb in Arthur’s Pass because you start right at the village and the views are awesome.
The Coast to Coast - Once a year in early February the endurance athletes come out and take over the park, running, kayaking and biking all the way from the West Coast, over Arthur’s Pass and on to Christchurch. Roads are open that weekend, but if you can you probably want to plan your trip for another time.
Only in Arthur’s Pass
Hike in a national park and take one of the world’s most famous rail journeys in the same day!