North of Arthur’s Pass Village, Bealey River passes through a narrow gorge, creating a mix of tumbling white water and blue pools. A footbridge on Bealey Valley Track crosses over this point on the river, called Bealey Chasm. Visit the chasm on a short walk beginning from State Highway 73. Bealey Chasm Walk starts with a short section of Arthur’s Pass Walking Track and connects to Bealey Valley Track. Both tracks can be used to extend this outing, which is just 650 meters round trip, tackling a bit of elevation over 90 wooden steps.
Set out north on Arthur’s Pass Walking Track from State Highway 73 at a car park across from a green building called Jacks Hut and a southbound section of Arthur’s Pass Walking Track. The track is level and relaxing as it passes through a mossy forest of beech trees. After just 175 meters, come to a marked split. Arthur’s Pass Walking Track goes to the right toward Arthur’s Pass Lookout. Turn left on Bealey Valley Track to begin descending toward the river. The track goes down over 70 steps to a wooden boardwalk. The track levels out and slips through more beech trees. Additional stairs lead to the bridge across Bealey Chasm.
Below the bridge, the river is pinched by rock walls that create pools and rapids. The chasm is not particularly deep, but it is pleasant to look at. The river might really gush through the area after rainstorms and active snowmelt periods.
Beyond the bridge, find a sign for Bealey Valley Track that lists the remaining distance to Bealey Valley View at 900 meter. The viewpoint at the end of the track has a good perspective of Mount Rolleston. Unless you are continuing up to that viewpoint, return the way you came, regaining 12 meters of elevation on the 325-meter long walk back to the car park. In addition to extending the hike be going farther on Bealey Valley Track and Arthur’s Pass Walking Track, visitors can see more by starting at the beginning of Arthur’s Pass Walking Track in Arthur’s Pass Village and taking that to Bealey Chasm Walk, extending the outing by 2.15 kilometers each way. Dogs and bikes are not allowed. Arthur’s Pass National Park is free to visit and does not have an entrance fee. No permit is required for Bealey Chasm Walk, so get out and enjoy!
Directions: From Sheffield (which is just over 50 kilometers west of Christchurch), take State Highway 73 northwest for 95 kilometers. Pass through Arthur’s Pass Village to reach Bealey Chasm Car Park, which is on the left across the road from Jacks Hut. 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 74.7 kilometers southeast to Bealey Chasm Car Park on the west side of Arthur’s Pass.
Trailhead address: State Highway 73, Arthur’s Pass Village, Canterbury, 7875, New Zealand
Trailhead coordinates: -42.9192, 171.5584 (42° 55′ 09.11″S 171° 33′ 30.24″E)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding New Zealand tracks, campgrounds, and lodging.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Avalanche Creek Shelter Campground
This 10-site campground in Arthur's Pass Village has a large shelter and easy access to the park visitor center and nearby hiking tracks.
|Arthur's Pass Alpine Motel
This lodging option in Arthur's Pass Village offers self-contained cabin accommodations that are convenient for visiting Arthur's Pass National Park.
|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.