Devils Punchbowl Waterfall, Arthur's Pass: Our most recommended tours and activities

Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

1. Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

Experience the South Island's remarkable natural landscapes by taking a journey on a train from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass, which is considered one of the world's greatest train journeys for the scenery it passes. Enjoy breathtaking views of Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, ice-fed Waimakariri River, lush beech forests, and stunning landscapes. Explore walking tracks in Arthur's Pass National Park with spectacular mountain views & pristine waterfalls. Capture mirror images at Lake Pearson & wander through the majestic limestone boulders at Castle Hill. A perfect day trip for nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers.

From Christchurch: Arthur's Pass and Tranzalpine Day Tour

2. From Christchurch: Arthur's Pass and Tranzalpine Day Tour

Christchurch – We start by leaving the Garden City/Christchurch and heading north towards our destination, while our knowledgeable driver points out some of the Garden City’s highlights. Darfield Bakery - Pick up your pre-ordered lunch prepared by the lovely Darfield Bakery. Springfield/Alpine Jet –As we make our way through the Selwyn District you will be greeted by the Gorgeous little western town of Springfield where we make our turn off towards Alpine Jets. Here you will spend time experiencing the wonders of the Waimakariri, it’s no wonder Jet Boating was developed here in Christchurch! For those that have decided to not add this onto their tour, there are walks, views and sheep cuddles to enjoy. Castle Hill (1hour) – Once back in the van we head towards Castle Hill. These weathered limestone rocks sit proudly on the tussocky hills and were once in the ocean! Over time they eroded away and started forming these amazing unique shapes you’ll see today. You might recognize this landscape from movies such as Lord of the Rings and Narnia! That’s right. Not only that, but while you walk amongst the rocks you will also see climbers and boulderers! This place is a magnet for those types of hobbies. This is not a guided walk so you will be left to explore this piece of beauty on your own. Otira Gorge Lookout (15 min) – Also known as Deaths Corner! The Otira Viaduct Lookout is an amazing spot to see the national park in all its glory. This bridge is the only reason driving Arthurs Pass is possible! It’s huge at 440 Meters long and is a great spot for a photo of the bridge and the surrounding landscape. A little bonus too, you might see a wee Cheeky Kea! The sneaky Alpine Parrot of NZ. Arthurs Pass Village (1hour) – We depart the lookout and head towards Arthur's Pass village. On the way you will be able to see the beautiful backdrop of the majestic Southern Alps up close. Once we arrive you will have the opportunity to either walk the Devils Punch Bowl or spend this time walking around the local shop. Devils Punch Bowl – This walking track is approx. 1 hour with a gradual incline including steps towards a ferocious 131-meter-tall waterfall. Fitness is low to moderate as you walk through the bush and forest. Arthurs pass village – Grab a bite to eat, a coffee and shop some local goodies! This village is a great way to really get to know the area. Please note our driver will keep you updated on the time to catch your train back to the city. TranzAlpine – Our guide will drop you at the Train Station to continue your journey back towards the Canterbury Plains, via the TranzAlpine. The TranzAlpine offers open viewing carriages for you to enjoy the scenery through the panoramic windows. Christchurch Train station –The train is scheduled to arrive at the station at 7pm, you will see our van there waiting for you! You can tell us all about it as we take you back to the accommodation where you started your journey from this Morning. All in a day's work aye! Here we officially say our goodbyes but send you off with some great photos and even better memories! As this tour operates in an alpine region the weather can be unpredictable. In the event of bad weather this tour will continue onto Greymouth and Lake Brunner

From Christchurch: Arthur's Pass Guided Day Trip with Lunch

3. From Christchurch: Arthur's Pass Guided Day Trip with Lunch

Expereince the beauty of New Zealand's Castle Hill, the turquoise waters of Waimakariri Gorge, and the alpine village at Arthurs Pass on this guided day trip that includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Christchurch. Travel in a comfortable van and savor a mouthwatering lunch along the way. Be picked up at your accommodation in Christchurch and whisked away on a group tour. Ride on the Great Alpine Highway to see spectacular engineering, mesmerizing waterfalls, and famous filming locations like Castle Hill (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). Admire views of Arthur’s pass, a National Park located deep in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and stop to explore the rural charm of Arthur's Pass Village. Take a variety of landscapes, from green fields to rugged mountain ranges, lush forest and ice-fed lakes and rivers. Avoid missing sights with a guide that is happy to point out the highlights. View the blue river that winds through the Waimakariri Gorge and the sparkling waters of Lake Pearson, a bird paradise. Enjoy the Otira Gorge Rock Shelter Lookout, an engineering marvel. Make plenty of stops along the way and have the chance to do optional activities (for an additional fee) like taking a jet boat ride or going for a forest walk to a waterfall. Capture pictures at Instagram-worthy spots. Return to your accommodation in Christchurch at the end of your tour. As this tour operates in an alpine region the weather can be unpredictable. In the event of bas weather this tour will continue on to Greymouth and Lake Brunner.

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Devils Punchbowl Waterfall, Arthur's Pass

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What people are saying about Devils Punchbowl Waterfall, Arthur's Pass

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 32 reviews

The train trip was shorter than we expected and it was raining heavily when we disembarked at Arthur Pass. The tour organizer worked very hard and tirelessly to overcome the weather problems with some short walks and his expert commentary about the Southern Alps etc A walk around Castle Hill rocks was enjoyable. Overall, I think the total cost of around $750 for 2 people was too high given we had to purchase our own lunch. In my opinion, the tour was over priced by around 20% particularly given we only went half way on the train.

Amazing experience! The scenic train has audio commentary on the scenes along the journey. The weather was great in the morning, unfortunately it was raining and became cloudy in the afternoon. Our guide, Anuj, was really friendly and helpful. We stopped by several scenic spots after hiking at the National Park. Recommended day trip!

A wonderful full day of sightseeing. The train is very enjoyable. However the highlight is the drive back down and the mini stops and small hikes and lookouts along the way.

Brilliant day tour, wonderfully kind guide, perfect for small children (our 3 year old managed all suggested walks)

Fantastic guide, very knowledgeable. Stops in all the best places to get pictures