Driving Through the Rural serenity and friendly towns lead you across the Canterbury Plains. You'll pass Kirwee, Darfield, Sheffield and Springfield. The road then winds up into the skiing areas of Porter Heights and Craigieburn before following the Waimakariri and Bealey Rivers to Arthur's Pass. Lakes Pearson and Grasmere are photo opportunities along the way.
The route known as Arthur's Pass was first used by Māori tribes crossing to the west coast to find pounamu (jade). Today it's a sophisticated mountain pass, memorable for its scenery as well as its breathtaking civil engineering.
The settlement of Arthur's Pass is a base for climbing, hiking, hunting and skiing adventures in the adjacent national park. There's a good choice of short walks.