Arthurs Pass - Greymouth

East to West


The Kea, New Zealand's native parrot. A highly intelligent and inquisitive bird, it will steal food, lens caps and anything it can carry. They have also been known to partly dismantle vehicles.

From Arthur's Pass village and still within the National Park, the road climbs steeply in places. There are many short walks to view waterfalls and other natural features including:

  • The Mt Rolleston lookout and walk way.
  • The Temple Basin Ski area; a good day trip or a picnic. The one hour climb will give you an appetite.
  • An alpine boarded walkway before the descent that lets you get a breath of fresh mountain air without getting your feet muddy.
  • Stop to overlook  the viaduct - kea's often hang about here for photos and opportunities.

Note; the pass is occasionally closed by snow in winter.

The descent from the pass itself is also much easier to negotiate following the construction of a viaduct as the road descends into the Otira Gorge and township.  Otira was once a busy service centre for te railway, however  the hotel is the only remaining centre of activity. It provides refreshments, accommodation and serves as a base for hunting or tramps into Mt Barron and the Kelly Ranges.

Continuing west, there are some walking routes off the highway and one exits the national park.  The highway turns to follow down the Teramakau river valley and over the river flats with mountains rising either side.

A choice here is to continue on the main highway 6 to Kumara Junction or to turn right at Jacksons:


Arthur's Pass viaduct

  1. Via Moana

    This is the 'scenic route', after crossing the Teramakau River and passing through the farming area of Rotomanu where you take a right turn down to lake Brunner and the holiday town of Moana. This is worth a stop to view the lake (it is not small), or partake of some of the recreation activities. Moana is a popular resort for watersports, hunting and fishing.From Moana continue following down beside the rail line and the Arnold river (power station and walkways) to the town of Stillwater, then following the winding Grey river on to Greymouth.Points of interest are sign posted along the way and there is some spectacular scenery with some outdoor recreation opportunities and craft stores. For the historically minded or mining buffs, the township of Dobson holds some fascination with its mining history.

  2. Via Kumara

    Lake Brunner from the highway near the village of Moana.

    The main highway continues westward through farmland and a spectacular avenue of trees and on through the township of Kumara, down a long straight before dividing at Kumara Junction, the right turn goes to Greymouth and the straight ahead to the coast and on south to Hokitika. Both towns are just 15 minutes away.


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