Bealey Spur offers a stunning combination of mountains, weaving rivers and beech forest, along a track more accessible than most in the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Just be prepared to get your feet a little muddy.
- Incredible views of mountains and braided rivers
- Pausing for lunch at historic mustering hut
- Pretty beech forest and pleasant walking
- Feeling on top of the world
Up Onto Bealey Spur
Bealey Spur is hands down one of my favourite hikes in New Zealand. And it’s not one you’ll find on most lists of top day hikes. It’s also pretty cruisy compared to many others in the Arthur’s Pass area.
From the carpark, there’s a fairly steep walk up a road to the start of the track. Then you’re immersed in a beautiful beech forest. There are multiple paths that break off and lead you to lookouts. Of course, we followed every single one we saw and our excitement grew. The view from less than a quarter of the way up was amazing!
It was quite muddy when we went in February, so having sturdy hiking boots helped; especially for Cedric who managed to slip his boot into the boggy mud! The landscape would be very different in winter, so make sure you prepare for snow if attempting then.
Midway through the hike the forest gives way to alpine scrub, and you cross a boardwalk past a lake. Another short stint through forest and you’re up at the historic green hut, once used by musterers who let their sheep graze on the mountain. The hut has bunk beds and can be used overnight, but beware of rats!
We paused at the hut for a bite to eat and chatted to another hiker. A little disappointed with the lack of view from the hut, we were delighted to hear that we could make it up to a peak if we followed an unsigned track.
Getting To The View
The track from the hut was even muddier than before, and after a short section through forest, we were huffing and puffing up a steep climb to the peak. Every time we stopped for a breath, the view was magnificent and kept us going.
At the top, there’s a 360° vista of mountains, valleys and braided rivers. Apart from the surreal feeling of standing so high and looking out on all that grandiosity, there was so much variation to notice. The mountains to either side of us had their own unique textures, slopes and colours.
If you’re planning on attempting Bealey Spur, don’t stop at the hut, but carry on up the unsigned track. We hope you get as lucky with the weather as we did so you can enjoy a clear view of the sublime landscape.
- Sturdy footwear (waterproof might come in handy)
- Water & snacks
- Sun protection
- Windproof jacket (the summit gets chilly!)
How To Get There
The car park is just off West Coast Road, the main road which leads from Christchurch to the South Island’s West Coast. From there, walk up Cloudesley Road to find the trailhead.
Beginner – Intermediate. The first section of the hike to the hut is pretty easy going. The last section to the peak is steep, muddy and is not signed.
Distance Covered / Duration
~6km to the hut / 2 hours to the hut and about 30min from there to the summit.