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Avalanche Creek Falls, Arthur’s Pass

Avalanche Creek Falls, Arthur’s Pass

Waterfalls in New Zealand’s South Island often require a bit of walking to see, so it’s always nice when they put one right by the main road. Bonus points if it’s located a few minutes’ walk from your hotel! Avalanche Creek Falls is in Arthur’s Pass Village and is easy to miss thanks to the tiny sign. We finally saw it on our May 2023 West Coast trip after driving past it multiple times over the last few years.

Getting to Avalanche Creek Falls

Avalanche Creek Falls is in the heart of Arthur’s Pass Village. It’s close to the big shop / café which dominates the town (next to the Outdoor Education Centre shown below) — park there and you should see the sign. From there it’s about a minute walk through the forest to the first viewpoint.

Avalanche Creek Falls

A quick walk through the forest takes you to a bridge where you’ll get a great view of the falls. It’s an impressive waterfall and is nestled within lush native bush.

There’s a track leading up from there to another viewpoint where you can get a better look at the top of the falls. From there you’ll find a short track which takes you down to the river (it’s a bit rough and slippery). It should take around 10-minutes to visit Avalanche Creek Falls – the perfect place to stop on the long drive through Arthur’s Pass.

Avalanche Peak

Avalanche Creek Falls is located at the start of a much longer walk. There are a couple of tracks you can take up to Avalanche Peak and it looks amazing (but very steep). We haven’t done this walk yet — if you have then let us know what it’s like in the comments below!

Other Things to Do in Arthur’s Pass

Devil’s Punchbowl Falls is one of our favourite South Island waterfalls. The track to it starts in the village and takes around an hour. There are also several other tracks and some beautiful roadside views all the way along the road between Christchurch and the West Coast.

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? Check out our two-week South Island itinerary!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.