20 Selwyn District Residents' Guide 2018 C ASTLE HILL – ARTHUR’S PASS Main Highway 73 leads you not only over Porters Pass and through some of the best scenery in New Zealand but also to the high country villages of Castle Hill and Arthur’s Pass. Along this most spectacular drive you will pass many historical sites along with some amazing lakes. Lake Lyndon, a small lake near Castle Hill, is popular for rainbow trout fishing. Lake Lyndon becomes very popular in summer due to its close proximately to local towns of Springfield, Sheffield and Darfield for water sports. Winter at the lake can also be spectacular and can make the perfect photo opportunity as the lake regularly freezes due to its elevation and location. Nestled under the Craigieburn Range, a high alpine village sits. Castle Hill village is a most picturesque place in both summer and winter. It has a small number of permanent residents along with a number of holiday homes (used extensively during the winter ski season). The village is the centre for many who participate in the many recreational activities in the area, including exploring the distinctive limestone boulders of Castle Hill, skiing and mountain biking. The boulders are located within the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area. Lake Pearson runs parallel with State Highway 73 and is easily accessible. At 195ha it is the largest of the Pearson, or Waimakariri, trout fishing lakes. Fishing from a dinghy or kayak, not mechanically propelled, is permitted on this lake. Cave Stream Scenic Reserve is a popular stop for all. If you take on the challenge of walking through Cave Stream limestone formation, please ensure you read the warning signs before attempting this walk. The unique Arthur’s Pass alpine village sits 740m above sea level, is nestled into the mountains and surrounded by beech forest in the centre of the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Although a small village, its welcome is always big with only 25 full time residents plus the additional estimated 250,000 plus visitors each year – the village always has a busy vibe - whether you arrive by the Transalpine train, car, camper or for the brave by bike or scooter. The visitor centre is located as you enter the village and makes a perfect first stop to inquire about the history of the Pass. Arthur’s Pass also boasts a general store, tea rooms and a restaurant. However it is recommended that you bring groceries/tramping supplies with you due to a limited selection. Many walking tracks are easily accessed from the village with the Devil’s Punch Bowl being a popular one.
Selwyn District Residents' Guide 2018 21 S ELWIN WALKING & TRAMPING Getting into the great outdoors is the perfect way to improve your fitness while you enjoy nature’s ever-changing canvas. The Selwyn District has so much to offer – whether you just want a short, leisurely stroll, or are up for a more strenuous hike over several hours, there is something to suit all abilities. Here are just some examples: WALKING CIRCUITS AND TRACKS Castle Hill to Arthur’s Pass • Cave Stream – 30mins (return); short tracks in limestone rock area to cave entrances; starts: just past Broken River bridge, SH73. • Hogs Back Mountain Track – 2.5hrs; connects Castle Hill village (its start) to Cheeseman Skifield. • Nature Trail – 20mins (return); short walk through Beech Forest; start: Environmental Education Centre, SH73. • Hut Creek – 1hr (return); walk through trial forest area; starts: Environmental Education Centre, SH73. • Dracophyllum Flat Track – 1.5hrs (return), or continue to Cheeseman skifield, 1.5hrs (one way); starts: Broken River skifield road, SH73. • Broken River Skifield Basin – 2-3hrs (return) to hut/4-5hrs (return) to main ridge; walk up towrope or bush track to tussock basin and main ridge; starts: Broken River skifield road. • Cockayne Nature Walk – 30mins (return); rough loop through podocarp broadleaf forest; starts: car park west of Kellys Creek, SH73. • Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall – 1hr (return); walk alongside Bealey River then up zigzag steps through Beech forest to waterfall; starts: car park north of Arthur’s Chalet. • Arthur’s Pass Historical Walk – 1.5hrs (return); around Arthur’s Pass township. • Arthur’s Pass Walking Track – 1hr20mins (one way); via alpine forest, wetlands and waterfalls to Dobson Memorial at summit; starts: Punchbowl, Jack’s Hut or Temple Basin car park. • Bealey Valley – 3-4hrs (return); through Beech forest to base of Mount Rolleston; starts: opposite Jack’s Hut, crosses Bealey River at ‘The Chasm’. Coleridge • Lake Coleridge Village Historic Walkway – 30mins-2hrs; around historic botanical hydro village; starts/finishes: Lake Coleridge Lodge. • Rockwood Bush Walk – 1hr; through native bush by Rockwood Stream; starts: homestead’s front gates, Darts Road (fees apply ph. 03 318 6809). Darfield • Darfield Town Walk A – 1hr; starts: Clock Tower, heads west to War Memorial, through Avoca Place and Daniel Mulholland reserves then back via streets, Pearson Reserve and Trinity Church. • Darfield Town Walk B – 1hr; starts: Clock Tower and crosses South Terrace following markers through sports grounds. Glentunnel • Glentunnel Millennium Walk – 80mins (return); track currently closed for major repairs; follows abandoned mine tramway to old coal mine; starts: old stables in Philip Street. Kirwee • Kirwee Walk – 40mins; starts: Courtenay Road to Hoskyns Road, up walkway then back to Tramway Road via Reserve. Lincoln • Lincoln Historical Walk – 45mins- 1hr30mins; starts: Liffey Cottage, James Street. Prebbleton • Prebbleton Nature Reserve – 20mins (return); around transformed gravel pit where volunteers planted 7,000 natives. Rakaia Gorge • Rakaia Gorge Walking Track – 3-4hrs (return/loop track); follow gorge rim upstream before descending into bush to old Snowdon coal mine site; starts: northern side, Rakaia Gorge Bridge, SH72. Southbridge/Ellesmere • Coopers Lagoon – 30mins; wetland lagoon reserve/coastal bird view walk; starts: McEvedy’s Road bridge car park. • Harts Creek – 40mins; through native bush and swamp to bird hide; starts: Lower Lake Road car park. Windwhistle • Washpen Falls – 2-3hr (loop track); passes volcanic canyon and spring fed creek to waterfall with views; adults $10/school students $5; 590 Washpen Road. TRAMPING TRACKS Springfield to Arthur’s Pass • Helicopter Hill – 4hrs (return); up from Lyndon Saddle along ridge; starts Craigieburn picnic shelter, SH73. • Bealey Spur – 4-6hrs (return); through Beech forest and tussock to spur, ending at historic Musterers’ hut; starts: Cloudesley Road near Bealey Hotel. • Mt Bealey – 3-4hrs (return); zigzag through Beech forest to main ridge; starts: Rough Creek (south side). Longer alpine routes can be found at: http://www.sensationalselwyn.co.nz/ listing-category/routes/ For more details and information on conditions, check: http://www. sensationalselwyn.co.nz/listingcategory/tramping-tracks-arthurspass-area-walks/
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