Millennium Walk is a very short hike from the visitor center for Arthur’s Pass National Park to a viewing platform alongside Avalanche Creek Waterfall. This walk is 500 meters round trip with only a few meters of elevation change, covered over stone steps at the end of the walk. If you stop by the visitor center in Arthur’s Pass Village, this short walk to the waterfall is well worth your time.
Go around to the backside of Arthur’s Pass National Park Visitor Centre to find a sign for the start of the track. Bear right and follow a gravel path along the edge of the forest. A grassy lawn on the right borders the level trail. After 150 meters, come to a junction with Avalanche Peak Track, which ascends to the left on a steep journey to the 1,833-meter summit of Avalanche Peak. Next up on Millennium Walk is Glasgow Bridge, a stone span over Avalanche Creek.
Enjoy a charming view up the creek to the left where you’ll see blue pools, cascades, and the lowest tier of Avalanche Creek Waterfall. This bridge was actually part of the old road to Arthur’s Pass as a sign explains:
The road through the village used to fork, with a ford crossing Avalanche Creek where the road bridge is now. When the ford was flooded, this bridge above it was used.
Walk across Glasgow Bridge to a split. A wide trail to the right goes down to State Highway 73 next to an old chapel and the rest of the village. Bear left to ascend to the viewing platform.
Nicely formed stone steps twist to the left and bring you to Avalanche Creek Waterfall Viewing Platform. Step up to the railing and look out at the waterfall just upstream. The waterfall in sight has a decent drop of a dozen meters or more, topped by a shorter plunge. Unfortunately, the waterfall is partially obscured by trees.
Farther up the canyon is the upper-tier of Avalanche Creek Waterfall, listed at 80-meters tall. This waterfall can’t be see from Millennium Walk, but can be spotted from across the road in Arthur’s Pass Village.
When you’re done admiring the waterfall, return down the stone steps, cross Glasgow Bridge, and stroll back to the visitor center. The walk is 250 meters long each way with 7 meters of elevation change. 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 Millennium Walk, so get out and enjoy!
Directions: From Sheffield (which is just over 50 kilometers west of Christchurch), take State Highway 73 northwest for 92 kilometers. Pull into the parking area on the left for Arthur’s Pass National Park Visitor Centre. The walk begins behind the visitor center. 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, enter Arthur’s Pass Village and find the parking area for the visitor center.
Trailhead address: State Highway 73, Arthur’s Pass Village, Canterbury, 7875, New Zealand
Trailhead coordinates: -42.942, 171.5626 (42° 56′ 31.20″S 171° 33′ 45.36″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.
|Bealey Chasm Walk|
This short walk passes through moss-covered beech trees to a bridge over Bealey River where it slips through a ravine.
|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.
|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.