Nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps, Arthur’s Pass National Park boasts spectacular views of soaring snow-capped mountains, lush beech forests and cool rushing rivers.
With ample hiking trails running through the mountain range, all types of intrepid adventurers can enjoy this picturesque region. Day trips to Arthur’s Pass National Park from Christchurch provide visitors with a refreshing taste of the great outdoors.
Here's all you need to know about Arthur’s Pass National Park, one of the most exciting day trips from Christchurch.
Arthur’s Pass National Park covers 1,185 square kilometers in the Southern Alps and is approximately 150 kilometers from Christchurch.
It takes approximately 2 hours to make the journey to Arthur’s Pass National Park by car. You’ll leave Christchurch in a westerly direction and follow State Highway 73 all the way to the park.
You can also make the jaunt to Arthur’s Pass National Park via a direct bus from the city, which takes around 3 hours.
Alternatively, join a guided excursion to Arthur’s Pass National Park, which lasts between 8 and 10 hours. You’ll begin between 7 AM and 8 AM with a convenient hotel pickup service.
All Arthur’s Pass National Park day trips vary in their itinerary. You may drive through the magnificent island landscape to the mountain region. Alternatively, you might select a day trip with a TranzAlpine train ride through jagged mountains and deep valleys to reach the park.
Enjoy a scenic drive once you arrive or don your hiking boots and explore Arthur’s Pass on foot immediately. You’ll go hiking through the national park alongside your professional guide before heading to other destinations, such as Mount Sunday.
Once you’ve discovered the beauty of the Southern Alps, you’ll return to Christchurch, where your Arthur’s Pass National Park day tour ends.
You can choose from several experiences on an Arthur’s Pass National Park day tour.
On this Arthur’s Pass National Park day trip, you’ll enjoy the scenic vistas of one of New Zealand’s most captivating train rides. Pass through dramatic mountain ranges and azure rivers to reach the park, where you’ll participate in a guided walk along meandering rivers, and towering beeches.
Drive to Castle Hill — a unique natural attraction of limestone rock formations — and relax with an afternoon tea before returning to Christchurch.
Feel like you’re stepping onto a movie set on this Lord of the Rings tour on an Arthur’s Pass National Park day trip. Visit the rugged Southern Alps and learn about various filming locations, including Mount Sunday.
Travel through the national park, home to a “Lord of the Rings” themed hotel, and discover many secrets behind the filming of this iconic trilogy.
Arthur’s Pass National Park day tours that are themed around the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy cost approximately US$200 per person.
If you wish to participate in a day trip to Arthur’s Pass National Park that includes a TranzAlpine train tour, you’ll pay between US$230 and US$380 per person. Those on the higher end of this range include lunch, as well as afternoon tea.
Arthur’s Pass National Park covers almost 1,200 square kilometers within the Southern Alps, meaning there is plenty for you to see on a day trip.
It was named the first national park on New Zealand’s South Island in 1929 and features many natural wonders, including Avalanche Peak.
Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall, the towering Mount Rolleston, and Waimakariri Basin are all popular places to discover while in the park.
The best time to visit Arthur's Pass National Park is during the summer, from December to March, when the weather conditions are most reliable. In any case, you can plan and enjoy a day trip there any time of the year.