The Arthur’s Pass Walking Track connects many of the shorter walks in Arthur’s Pass, along well graded and relatively flat (other than by Bridal Veil Creek and the Devil’s Punch Bowl) tracks which can be done in a 4-6 hour return walk, or over a number of shorter walks.
After a morning of torrential rain it looked like it might clear a little so I put on my boots and headed out for a couple of hour’s fresh air and exercise, staying mostly dry and even needing sunglasses on occasion. I started with the Devil’s Punch Bowl, thinking that the rain would help the waterfall, which it did, as did a few stray rays of sunshine.
Next was through some lovely temperate rainforest, a beneficiary of all the rain.
Blue skies appeared just in time for my arrival at the lookout, with Arthur’s Pass in the distance.
Bridal Veil Creek offered a good workout for the thighs, if on easy steps.
The track follows in places the line of power cables, which were slightly surreal to walk under in the middle of a rainforest.
Jack’s Hut dates from 1879, built as a roadman’s hut, and was relocated to it’s current location by the main road in 1910 before becoming a family bach for eighty years. It’s now been restored and preserved for future generations as the only remaining example of it’s kind.
Across the road is an unusual road sign, alerting driver to the presence of kea, the amazing mountain parrots that live in this area. I saw one at the top of Avalanche Peak the previous day, wonderful if very cheeky birds, they’ll happily break into your bags and remove your shoelaces.
Bealey Valley Track was my final track for the afternoon, after which I returned the way I came. The sunlight through the trees was gorgeous if shortly lived.
The track crosses a chasm, which was pretty underwhelming tbh, but improved when I reached a snow-grass clearing with views of the 2,275m high Mt Rolleston and down the valley, and through more magical forest to the end of the marked track.
The previous day after heading up Temple Basin (the zig zag track clear behind the road below) I’d covered more of the track including the pleasant if unspectacular Dobson Nature Walk (some sunshine would have helped), and did part of the Lake Misery (great name, couple of valleys over there is the evocatively named Mounds of Misery!) Track.