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The Wilderness 100: The 7 best trips in Arthur’s Pass National Park

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May 2020 Issue

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

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Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

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Barker Hut. Photo: Sukhwan Lee/Flickr

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

 

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

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis 'See more, do more, live more' of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you'll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand's best outdoor journalism We've won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ's best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we've been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ's best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.