Looking for a new challenge this year (or for the remainder of your life)? How about ticking off the Wilderness 100?
Welcome to the inaugural Wilderness 100 – an annual list of the best trips in the country. For the website version of this feature story, we've broken the trips down into regions and linked to those trips we've got route notes and maps for.
So, without further ado, here are the best trips in Arthur's Pass National Park.
1. Bealey Spur, Arthur’s Pass National Park
Bealey Spur offers a leisurely climb through pleasant beech forest to reach undulating tops, where the braids of the Waimakariri and Bealey rivers sprawl below. The historic Bealey Spur Hut (built in 1925) dates from the sheep-grazing era and the names of musterers are scrawled on its corrugated iron walls. DOWNLOAD
2. Avalanche Peak, Arthur’s Pass National Park
Avalanche Peak rises steeply above Arthur’s Pass Village and makes an exhilarating day tramp with an ascent up either the Avalanche Peak Track and a descent on Scotts Track. The craggy summit (1833m) offers a 360-degree sweep of mountains, with Mt Rolleston prominent. DOWNLOAD
3. Mingha-Deception, Arthur’s Pass National Park
Famous as the mountain running section of the Coast-to-Coast race, this two-day tramp crosses the Southern Alps just east of Arthur’s Pass. Tramp up the delightful Mingha Valley to the comfortable hut at Goat Pass, then tackle the rugged, boulder-hopping confines of the Deception River. DOWNLOAD
4. Barker Hut, Arthur’s Pass National Park
The highest hut in Arthur’s Pass National Park is a gloriously situated refuge on the mountain tops – there for the taking for adventurous trampers. The route is mostly riverbed travel, and achievable only when the water level is low. Trampers can stay at Anti Crow Hut and Carrington Hut to break up the trip. DOWNLOAD
5. Carroll Hut Track, Arthur’s Pass National Park
This steep track quickly leaves SH73 behind for a 3hrthree hour climb to the tops. From 10-bunk Carroll Hut, trampers can further explore the Kelly Range, enjoying views down to Otira River far below. DOWNLOAD
6. Three Passes, Arthur’s Pass National Park
Cross the Southern Alps over three passes, visit huts old and new, and marvel at the fortitude of early Māori, sheep graziers and prospectors who crossed Browning Pass. This five-day tramp begins up the Waimakariri, then crosses to the Wilberforce over Harman and Whitehorn passes before gaining the Main Divide at the expansive Lake Browning. Exit down the Arahura Valley, as slips in the Styx are troublesome at present. DOWNLOAD
7. Castle Hill Peak, Arthur’s Pass National Park
At close to 2000m, Castle Hill Peak gets trampers to the lofty heights usually reserved for climbers, but without the technical know-how required. This day trip provides stunning views over the Canterbury Plains, but will require some navigational skills in poor weather. DOWNLOAD