Arthurs Pass National Park

Arthur's Pass National Park is located between Canterbury and the West Coast is in the heart of the Southern Alps in the South Island, New Zealand.

Arthur's Pass National Park is a park of contrasts. The eastern side is characterised by wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and huge beech forests. The western side of the park has deeply satiated rivers flowing through dense rainforest. Down the middle of 'the great divide' is snow-covered peaks, glaciers and rocky slopes.

It includes many peaks over 2000 metres, the highest is Mount Murchison at 2,400 metres. All the main valleys of the park are deep and steep sided. Above the sub-alpine shrub lands, there are charming alpine fields with wild flowers.

Most people arrive in Arthur's Pass National Park by road. The village at Arthur's Pass is the starting point for many short walks. The entrance to the historic Otira rail tunnel can be seen here, an impressive engineering achievement through 8.5 kilometres of rock.

Arthurs Pass National Park History

Arthur's Pass National Park was established in 1929 and was New Zealand's third national park and the first one in the South Island. Long before surveyor Arthur Dudley Dobson found his way over the pass in 1864, it was known to Maori hunting parties as a route between east and west.

Main Towns in the Christchurch-Canterbury Region

Other Towns in the Christchurch-Canterbury Region