Arthur's Pass National Park, 95 mi/155 km northwest of Christchurch, is on New Zealand's South Island and has magnificent mountain scenery, which you can experience on several short walks or full-day hikes. But most people just pass through the park on their way between the two coasts. The views are impressive whether you're traveling by car on Highway 73 or on the Trans-Alpine Express train between Christchurch and Greymouth.
Be aware that Arthur's Pass itself is sometimes closed to cars because of snow. During the colder months, you'll probably have to take the train. Otherwise, driving is a better option because the train enters a tunnel at the top of the pass—you miss some of the area's best scenery.
The visitors center at Arthur's Pass Village has a small museum, which offers weather and trail information. Among the shorter walks, both the Devil's Punchbowl Falls and Bridal Veil tracks lead to spectacular waterfalls.
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