The unbelievable views and natural majesty of Haast Pass on the South Island of New Zealand are always attracting hikers and adventurers alike. Haast Pass is home to bush walks, waterfalls, and stunning views that adults, families with children, and people of all abilities can enjoy. This article is your guide to hiking in Haast Pass, including great destinations, beautiful accommodation, and other best practices for hiking in New Zealand.
Where to Hike in Haast Pass
There are loads of stunning locations to explore in the Haast Pass. It all depends on what you’re after, for example: do you want to go on an easy, accessible walk, or a more challenging hike? How many kilometres are you willing to walk (and drive)? The main route through the Pass, SH6, is part of a heritage highway system that links visitors to beautiful and important natural landmarks. From this track, you can reach tens of beautiful locations that cater to every adventurer’s needs! For example, the Roaring Billy Falls offers an easy 1km walk lined with tall ferns and beautiful birdlife. The roaring waterfall crashes down onto a series of boulders and rockery, making for a stunning sight.
For a quick, accessible and kid-friendly walk, consider visiting the Thunder Creek Falls. This walk is 0.2km from the car park, through the silver beech forest, onto the viewing station for the spectacular waterfall. For a bushwalk that’s a little bit longer, try out the Haast Pass Lookout Track! This hike is about a one-hour return trip, at about 3.5km. The track leads to a viewpoint that sits well above the bushline and offers amazing views of the surrounding area. Another unforgettable experience is the Blue Pools Walk. This easy walk is also about 3km, easily accessible from the car park on the SH6. Following the track, you’ll eventually reach a swing bridge that overlooks the stunning crystal-clear Blue Pools. There’s also wheelchair access to the first swing bridge, so people of all abilities can enjoy the sight!
If you’re looking for even more inspiration for hiking in the Haast Pass, click here.
Time Your Trip Well
To plan a successful Haast Pass hike, you need to plan your trip well. The drive to and from many of the most popular locations on the Pass is quite long and should be planned well to avoid nightfall and inclement weather. From start to finish with no stops along the way, the Haast Pass drive is about four hours! So to get the most out of your trip, you’ll want to designate a couple of additional hours to the short walks and hikes along the way. Always check the weather forecast before embarking on an adventure in the Haast Pass, as inclement weather can slow down travel and halt hikes altogether. The western slopes of the area are known to receive high levels of rainfall throughout the year, so watch out! Additionally, the Pass gets very cold during winter and is not immune to snowfall. It’s a good practice to check the New Zealand Transport website, too, for any road closures or traffic stops in the area.
Things You’ll Need for Your Hike
It is best practice to bring along some essential items when hiking in the Haast Pass. For starters, be sure to wear appropriate clothing, including comfortable walking shoes, and outerwear to keep you warm. Next up, it’s a great idea to pack plenty of water and some high-protein snacks in case you get tired out by the hikes. Be sure to stay hydrated, particularly on the longer walks and in warmer weather.
Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with a spare tyre and the equipment you’d need to make the change. A first aid kit is never a bad idea, either, in case of bumps and scrapes. You’ll want to familiarise yourself with emergency numbers in New Zealand, too, in case of an accident. Dialing 111 will put you in contact with fire, police and ambulance services, should you require. This is a toll-free number for your safety.
Where to Stay in the Haast Pass
Of course, if you’re hiking in the Haast Pass it only makes sense to find some beautiful accommodation there, too. The Mount Aspiring National Park, home to the Haast Pass, is a beautiful area that affords stunning views and natural majesty unlike anywhere else in the world. Finding accommodation in the Haast Pass is as simple as clicking a button. The Wonderland Makarora Lodge is classy and cosy getaway nestled amongst the vistas of Mt Shrimpton. You can click here to contact the Lodge and enquire about your next adventure.