Before you arrive in Arthur's Pass...
- Winter Driving - Between May and October we highly recommend you carry correctly fitting snow chains for your vehicle and know how to fit them. Check the Highway Conditions before departing!
- No Entry Fees - There are NO entry fees in New Zealand for entering the National Parks with a vehicle or on foot! The Visitor Centre in Arthur's Pass is also free to enter and view it's displays etc. There may be some overnight fees charged for some campsites and back-country huts.
- Bring a good rain-coat - We get about 200 days of rain a year in Arthur's Pass; hopefully you do arrive on a fine day, but if you don't a good rain-coat will still allow you to explore the stunning sub-alpine forest tracks and enjoy the many water features that miraculously appear.
- Buy your groceries before you arrive - Groceries can be quite expensive and be of a limited selection in Arthur's Pass village. We highly recommend you purchase groceries and tramping food requirements in a main centre (Greymouth, Hokitika, Christchurch etc) before you arrive.
- Buy your portable stove fuel before you arrive - Gas & liquid fuels (methylated spirits, white spirits) are not always available in Arthur's Pass village. We highly recommend you purchase adequate supplies of stove fuel in a main centre (Greymouth, Hokitika, Christchurch etc) before you arrive.
- Arriving by private car - Fill up your fuel tank in a main centre to avoid inflated fuel prices in Arthur's Pass village.
- Book ahead - In the peak season, December to April it is very wise to book ahead your overnight accommodation to avoid disappointment as Arthur's Pass village has limited overnight lodgings.
- Summer - Summer runs from December through March. Expect ALL types of weather, typically mild and dry up to January, then hot (35ºC) coming into February. Periods of stormy weather are common at any time.
- Winter - Winter runs from June through August. Snow starts to fall in late May, with heavier falls expected in the Spring (up until October). Temperatures range from -15ºC to +10ºC, with the colder month being August.
- Spring - Spring runs from September through November. Spring is notorious for instability in the mountains; it is not uncommon to experience "four seasons in one day", including snowfall. Storms would normally bring lots of rainfall and rivers can rise very rapidly into flood! Spring also brings out the first of the wildflowers in mid-November.
- Water - The water in Arthur's Pass village is extremely clean, there is NO NEED to purchase or drink bottled water whilst in the village. Most rivers and streams in Arthur's Pass National Park are also very drinkable.
- Roads - Roads both sides of Arthur's Pass are winding and narrow. Always keep to the left and slow down on the very tight curves. Cyclists should wear high visibility clothing!
- Tramping - Before heading out into the hills firstly visit the DOC Information Centre for latest weather and track conditions. Most of our tracks require you to wear boots (and don't take them off for river crossings), hire boots ARE NOT available in Arthur's Pass village. Purchase or hire them in a main centre before your arrival. Tramps in the Arthur's Pass area tend to be more difficult and much more undeveloped than other parts of the country, there are few bridged rivers in the back country and track marking is sparton. Check the Weather Forecast before departing!