Chasing Waterfalls in Selwyn

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Chasing Waterfalls in Selwyn

Explore Selwyn this Spring on foot to discover our stunning waterfalls! Pack a picnic, grab the camera and made a day of it. Breathtaking views, cheeky Kea, stunning photo opportunities and memories to be made in Selwyn. 

1 hour return track

Devils Punchbowl Waterfall

Recognised as one of the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) best short walks in the country, Devils Punchbowl Waterfall is a must-see when travelling through Arthur's Pass.

This pleasant walk through lush beech forest leads to a spectacular 131 metre waterfall. The well-formed track and a series of steps climb 150 vertical metres to a viewing platform at the base of waterfall.

From the start of the walk, follow the footbridge across the Bealey River. The next bridge, over Devils Punchbowl Creek, has a good view of the waterfall. From here, wander through lush beech forest with friendly pīwakawaka/fantails and tomtits before climbing up a series of steps to a viewing platform at the base of this spectacular waterfall. Kea love this place as much as people do. There’s also a good chance you’ll hear or see the great spotted roroa/kiwi during a twilight evening walk.

  • Location: Arthur's Pass
  • 2 hours from Christchurch
  • Low to moderate fitness required
  • Gradual incline with steps.

 Find out more

Find out more

2 hour return walk

Washpen Falls

The Washpen Falls track takes you through a canyon formed by an ancient volcano, thick in native bush and full of bird song. 

Around every corner is a perfect photo opportunity so make sure you bring your camera!

This fascinating walk starts at the Old Washpen Woolshed and takes you through an ancient Volcanic Canyon which is now a reserve filled with lush native bush and wonderful birdlife.

At the top of the climb you are rewarded with fabulous views across the plains. As you descend back down the canyon the track takes you alongside spring-fed creeks and stunning waterfalls. A covered shelter beside the  small lake is an ideal spot for a rest.

  • Location: Windwhistle
  • 1 hour from Christchurch
  • Moderate fitness required

Want to really explore the area around Washpen Falls? Staying at The Washpen Falls Shepherd's Hut or the Washpen Falls Chalet, will help you reconnect with nature and make you fall in love with the surrounding countryside.

Find out more

5 minute walk to waterfall

Avalanche Creek Waterfall

If you're after a shorter walk, this one's for you.

Very early on in the walk you can enjoy a charming view up the creek to the left where you’ll see blue pools, cascades, and the lowest tier of Avalanche Creek Waterfall. Or head up the formed stone steps to the platform for a closer look.

The track is called the Millennium Walk and starts beside the Visitor Centre. Follow the path along the base of the hill towards the village. Small trout are often seen in Avalanche Creek from the historic bridge. From here, the path goes up to a viewing platform overlooking the Avalanche Creek Waterfall, which is lit at night.

  • Location: Arthur's Pass
  • 2 hours from Christchurch
  • Low fitness required

Keen to explore the area some more? The Avalanche Creek Shelter Campside can be your base for adventure and exploration.

Find out more

Sometimes, it is a great idea to go chasing waterfalls. Taken some great Selwyn waterfall photos on your walk? Make sure you tag us @Selwyn.NZ when you post to Instagram so we can appreciate your amazing waterfall shots. 

Back to Articles