How can you have a campsite that is in town and in the middle of a national park? Avalanche Creek Camping Area is just off State Highway 73, the main road through Arthur’s Pass Village in Arthur’s Pass National Park. The campground has grassy sites and a large shelter for visitors to use. The campground is right across from the national park visitor center and close to the heart of the small village.
Overnight campers and day use visitors can make use of Avalanche Creek Shelter, which has a large open area, nice windows, tables and benches, sinks with cold running water, and counter space for stoves. Flush toilets are available near the shelter. The campground next to the shelter has 10 campsites for tents and campervans. Picnic tables are spread out among the campsites. All sites are first-come first-served and reservations are not accepted. The fees for the campground are $6 per night for adults and $3 per night for children 5–17. Younger children are free (all prices in New Zealand Dollars as of February, 2016). Campfires are prohibited in the campground and dogs are not allowed.
The campground is just off SH 73 and is also bordered by railroad tracks. Freight trains regularly pass through Arthur’s Pass between the east and west coasts of the South Island. Your stay is likely to be interrupted by loud trains. From the campground, it is just a 2-minute walk into the market, cafes, and restaurants in Arthur’s Pass Village, so it is easy for campers to go into town for dinner and drinks. Arthur’s Pass National Park Visitor Centre is across the street from the campground, so campers can quickly get information about the park.
Directions: From Sheffield (which is just over 50 kilometers west of Christchurch), take State Highway 73 northwest for 92.1 kilometers. The driveway entrance to Avalanche Creek Camping Area and shelter is on the right across from Arthur’s Pass National Park Visitor Centre. From Greymouth, on the west coast, drive south on State Highway 6 for 17 kilometers to Kumara Junction. Turn inland on SH 73 and drive 78 kilometers southeast, entering Arthur’s Pass Village to find the campground and day user area.
Campground address: State Highway 73, Arthur’s Pass Village, Canterbury, 7654, New Zealand
Campground coordinates: -42.94148, 171.5627 (42° 56′ 29.32″S 171° 33′ 45.72″E)
Use the map below to get directions to the campground:
|Millennium Walk to Avalanche Creek Waterfall|
This 500-meter round trip walk goes from Arthur’s Pass National Park Visitor Centre to a bridge and viewpoint below a waterfall on Avalanche Creek as it approaches Arthur’s Pass Village.
|Devils Punchbowl Falls|
This 2-kilometer round trip hike ascends to a viewing platform near the base of an impressive waterfall that should be a top priority for Arthur’s Pass National Park visitors.
|Arthur’s Pass Village to Bridal Veil Falls Lookout|
This 1.8 kilometer round trip hike up Arthur’s Pass Walking Track takes a gradual approach to a viewpoint with a perspective of Bridal Veil Falls and surrounding mountains.
|Jacks Hut to Bridal Veil Falls Lookout|
This 2.5-kilometer round trip hike on Arthur’s Pass Walking Track crosses beech forests and alpine shrublands, dropping across a canyon to arrive at a view of Bridal Veil Falls.
|Bealey Chasm Walk|
This short walk passes through moss-covered beech trees to a bridge over Bealey River where it slips through a ravine.
|Otira Valley Track|
This 3.8-kilometer round trip hike ventures up a valley on the north side of Arthur’s Pass, finding a footbridge over Otira River and broad views of surrounding mountains.
|Old Coach Road Walk|
If you stay overnight at Greyneys Shelter Campground, start the day with this 1 to 1.4-kilometer loop that leaves the campground and travels through the surrounding forest along an old roadbed.
|Kura Tawhiti / Castle Hill Conservation Area|
This 2 to 3-kilometer hike explores a fascinating jumble of limestone boulders close to Arthur’s Pass National Park.
|More trails in New Zealand|
Explore other destinations for walking and hiking (as well camping and lodging) in New Zealand.
|Greyneys Shelter Campground|
Camping is free around this small 3-wall stone shelter along State Highway 73 south of Arthur’s Pass Village.
|Lake Pearson (Moana Rua) Campground|
This campground has about 20 sites along the shore of a peaceful lake between mountains in the Canterbury Region near Arthur’s Pass National Park.