Arthur’s Pass village is one of the highest settlements in the country. Here you can gaze into the historic Otira rail tunnel – an epic engineering feat through 8.5 kilometres of rock. If you need to stretch your legs, walk the one-hour return journey to the Devil's Punchbowl Falls. It’s not Middle Earth, but it is Narnia; Arthur’s Pass was one of the main locations for ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', which was filmed around Cave Stream and at Flock Hill Station, in the high country around Arthur’s Pass.
Arthur’s Pass National Park is in the heart of the Southern Alps. Its high mountains with large scree slopes, steep gorges and wide braided rivers straddle the main divide and are the ‘backbone’ of the South Island. The road over the pass is one of the highest in New Zealand, here you cross the backbone of the Southern Alps. This makes it easy to see the spectacular alpine flowers in full bloom. There are only two or three places in the country you can pull off the main road, walk for just a few minutes and get that perfect Mount Cook Lilly photo with the Southern Alps in the background. The new Arthur’s Pass walking the track, from the Bealey Valley car park up to the Dobson memorial is a beautifully made brand new track and up near the pass, you will be absolutely surrounded by lilies in full bloom. Spring (October - November) is the best time for alpine flowers. For the adventurous soul, go hiking or mountaineering and spot New Zealand’s inquisitive and comical alpine parrot, the kea, along the way. During winter you can join the lucky skiers and snowboarders enjoying spectacular runs in the Temple Basin Ski Area.