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Waimakariri River via Bealey Spur and Jordan Saddle, Arthur’s Pass National Park

Descending scree towards the distant Jordan Saddle. Photo: David Short
Area
Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance
21.7km
Time
9-11hr
Grade
Moderate
Accom.
Bealey Spur Hut, six bunks
Access
Off SH73, park at the base of Bealey Spur in the marked car park. About 1hr 40min from Christchurch
Map
BV20
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Nestled in the shadow of far larger mountains to the north and west, Bealey Spur is a popular tramp providing classic vantage points from which to view the vast Waimakariri Basin and to wonder at the fractured Crow Glacier that leads to the summit of Mt Rolleston. It remains a fantastic destination because it is relatively weatherproof, provides great views and has a hut en route. The track starts at the tiny Bealey Spur Village at a steady gradient. Bealey Spur Hut is reached relatively quickly. Built in 1935 from beech saplings it is a fantastic example of New Zealand high-country farming heritage. Cora Lynn station used the hut right up until 1978 when the land was retired from grazing and absorbed into Arthur's Pass National Park. Bealey Spur becomes Hut Spur at around Pt1545 and swings southwest towards Pt1875. The ridge is largely easy travel with a couple of sticky sections. Point 1875 is reached in about three hours from Bealey Spur Hut. Drop down to Jordan Saddle and negotiate your way through the headwaters of Jordan Stream. The next two hours will be spent crossing and recrossing Jordan Stream on the way to Turkey Flat and the Waimakariri River. Eventually the stream bed levels out to a broad valley and travel down the true right becomes straightforward. From Turkey flat it,s about 4km to SH73 and another 3km to Bealey Spur Village. **It,s worthwhile stopping in at the Bealey Hotel for a cold beer and meal before heading home.