The rock formation of Kura Tawhiti can be seen from the highway, but their size is best appreciated up close.
An easy walking track takes you through open pasture to stand beneath these impressive limestone features. From here follow the network of well-worn tracks that weave through the giant stones, giving you access to all sides.
This area is a world-renowned rock-climbing site and you are likely to see climbers pitting their skill against the rocks. Take care if you climb any of the formations, particularly in wet weather.
The track gradient is generally gentle, with some steep steps either side of Bridal Veil Creek.
Start at the Punchbowl, Bealey Chasm (Jacks Hut) or Temple Basin car parks to walk all or part of the track and return the same way.
From Punchbowl car park it’s a 20 minute walk to the Bridal Veil Falls lookout through subalpine mountain beech forest and Dracophyllum to a small clearing with a picnic table, good views of the falls, surrounding peaks and Arthur’s Pass village. Note the intense red leaves of the Dr Seuss-like Dracophyllum in spring/summer.
After crossing Bridal Veil Creek, the track travels through alpine shrublands and wetlands before reaching Jacks Hut – a restored roadman’s cottage.
At Jacks Hut cross SH73 to Bealey Chasm car park and follow the track through old-growth mountain beech – a good place for bird watching.
At the intersection with the Dobson Nature Walk turn right to cross the road again to the Temple Basin car park or turn left to follow the Dobson Nature Walk to the Arthur’s Pass lookout on the summit of the Pass.
From here look across the road at the Dobson Memorial – commemorating Arthur Dudley Dobson, the surveyor who gave the modern name to Arthur’s Pass. This is the highest point on the road before it drops to the West Coast.
Return on the same track. The main highway is unsafe to walk on and should not be used.
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