Arthur Pass——Road between snow mountain

Year before today, I’m on my way from Arthur Pass to Punakaiki
Since it’s 1 year anniversary, I hope I can complete all the trip 1 year before today for the coming day.

Arthur Pass is one of the most beautiful drive in NZ.
It cross NZ horizontally, which allow you to enjoy the endless mountain.
During winter, you’ll have a wonderful experience in between these snow mountain.

Way to Arthur Pass

Way to Arthur Pass

Since it’s mountain road, for every driver must drive carefully, especially winter.

If you wish to enjoy these beautiful scene without driving…
There is another choice for you, the Tranz Alpine train service

Tranz Alpine is a train service start from Chirstchurch, pass by Arthur Pass and reach Grey Mouth or vice versa.
It allow you enjoy the whole Arthur Pass journey without driving yourself.
The route of the train also have little different and special compared with the driving road.

According my friend experience, the journey of Tranz Alpine during winter just like the 4 seasons:

  • Start from Christchurch, you’ll feel the city hot, just like summer.
  • Once the train leave the city, it come into a wide Greenland like the beginning of spring.
  • As the train start going up the hill, you’ll experience autumn cool and rain.
  • Until certain sea level, you’ll come into the winter snow world.

After the long journey to Arthur Pass, we stayed at YHA…
In fact, there’s only a few people staying in Arthur Pass during winter.
This is because it attraction point——The national park is covered by the snow which may up to adult waist.

One of the speciality of Arthur Pass is wild Kiwi Bird

Devil Punchbowl Fall

After Chit-chat with the host of YHA, he actually a member of Arthur Pass Wildlife Trust who taking care the wild Kiwi Bird in Arthur Pass area.
He also shows me how they track the Kiwi Bird location using a radio wave radar.

Arthur Pass YHAArthur Pass YHA

Unfortunately, the nearest Kiwi Bird during that day is about 2km away, mean I have no chance to meet them.
However, the host tell me there is a sign of Kiwi Bird’s foot print 2 days before in the village.
It mean you may have a chance to spot a wild Kiwi Bird in Arthur Pass.

The second morning, we spot another famous bird in NZ, the Kea

Arthur Pass

Kea, according to the YHA host, it’s a rare high mountain parrot in NZ. It have up to 5 years old children intelligence.

Whenever you found them, remember:

  1. Never feed to prevent them losing their hunting ability.
  2. Seal you food bag/box as they know how to open and search for food.
  3. Secure your belonging as they reported stealing passport and DSLR.

Next, we process to the highest waterfall in NZ, the Devil’s PunchBowl

Devil’s Punchbowl is one of the highest waterfall in NZ.
It’s also a speciality in Arthur Pass Track.
According to YHA host, you’ll have a chance to see the frozen waterfall during winter if the night is cold enough.

And we actually saw the many frozen waterfall the day after the coldest night in Arthur Pass(-7’C on the night before we reach).


After Arthur Pass, next station will be the mystery west coast!