Arthur's Pass is a township in the Selwyn district of the South Island, New Zealand; it is located in the middle of a national park of the same name.
Arthur's Pass has a choice of good cafes and a few shops. Arthur's Pass National Park has a range of easy to challenging walks. The walking tracks go through beautiful forest to waterfalls, alpine meadows and mountain peaks. One popular walk is The Devil's Punchbowl Falls which is a one hour return walk.
The famous and very scenic Tranz Alpine rail service runs through Arthur's Pass and late May to October, the highway through the town is sometimes closed, due to dangerous driving conditions such as snow or black ice.
Arthurs Pass History
The township and the pass are named after Sir Arthur Dudley Dobson. Arthur Dobson had been given the task by the Chief Surveyor, Thomas Cass, to find out if there was a free pass out of the Waimakariri watershed into valleys running to the West Coast. In 1864, he and his brother Edward went into the valley of the Otira River. Arthur had been informed of a pass being present which was previously used occasionally by Maori hunting parties. When Arthur returned to Christchurch, he made a drawing of the country traversed and gave it with a report to Cass. Arthur Dobson did not name the pass, which he found to be very steep on the western side.
Main Towns in the Christchurch Region
Other Towns in the Christchurch Region