We have stunning walks on offer throughout Sensational Selwyn. These walks range in level, some are more adventurous while others have stunning scenery to take in. These are the top six we think you need to tick off!!


Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall

Devils Punchbowl

Distance: 2kms return

Time: One hour return

Difficulty: Easy

Start point: Signpost north of Arthurs Chalet points to the carpark where the walk starts

Why we love it: The most popular walk in Arthurs Pass National Park, with stunning access though the mountain beech forest to the base of the 131-meter waterfall. Perfect place to get that Instagram worthy shot!


Rakaia Gorge Walkway

Rakaia Gorge Walking Track

Distance: 10.4kms return

Time: 3-4 hours return

Difficulty: Easy

Start point: Located off State Highway 72 Inland Scenic Route, on the northern edge of the Rakaia River, upstream of the Rakaia Gorge Bridge.

Why we love it: Nestled below Terrace Downs, the walkway follows the rim of the gorge leading through forest to the site of the old Snowdon coal mines, with viewpoints of their entrances.  The track then climbs to a lookout point with a stunning outlook across the Rakaia river.


Washpen Falls Canterbury

Washpen Falls

Time: 2-3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Start Point: 590 Washpen Road, Windwistle

Why we love it: Grab one of the rustic walking sticks on your way in to this ancient volcano crater track which is surrounded by thick native bush.  Along the way you’ll spot waterfalls, caves and panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains.  Washpen Falls is located on private land, with an honesty box for admissions to the track which goes towards track maintenance. The picnic shelter near the end of the track is a very special place to take a rest and don’t forget to grab some of the Washpen honey which you can buy onsite to take home!




Cave Stream

Cave Stream 

Distance: The cave is 594 meters long

Time: 30 minutes to the entrance of the cave, one hour through the cave

Difficulty:  Moderate

Start Point: State Highway 73, between the Broken River Road bridge and the Craigieburn Forest Park entrance.

Why we love it: This is an adventures dream, with not only two walks to the cave openings, but also a walk through the cave! It is not for the faint hearted, with the track through the cave in complete darkness the whole way and the challenge of a waterfall to climb at the end you must be properly equipped – please refer to the Department of Conservation website for more information on safety requirements for this walk.


Castle HillCastle Hill (Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area)

Distance: 1.4km (from carpark to the rocks)

Time: 20 minutes return

Difficulty: Easy

Start Point: State Highway 73 towards Arthurs Pass. Marked on the left in the Cave Stream Scenic Reserve area.

Why we love it: The unique limestone formations in the area were used in the movie; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  The formation of the rocks isn’t the only spectacular view, as you also have views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Take a picnic or grab a takeaway lunch from one of the many options in Darfield, Sheffield or Springfield for a fun day of exploring around the rocks and tunnels that were formed 300 million years ago. Let your imagination run wild. It’s great for all ages too!


Harts Creek

Harts Creek

Distance: 1.46km

Time: 40 minutes return

Difficulty: Easy

Start Point: From Leeston turn left at Leeston Lake Rd. Follow this road to the end (10 km) then turn left onto Harts Rd for 1.5 km, then sharp left onto a shingle road to reach the car park. This point is sign posted.

Why we love it: This walk is a bird lovers dream, with a huge range of birds from white and black swans to white heron, pied stilits and more! Located in Ellesmere, the track winds through native bush parallel to the creek lined with native flaxes. After a stile crossing in the track it takes you to a densely wooded swamp area.  The track ends with a bird hide, a camouflaged hut set out on the lake for easy viewing of the birds and wildlife.


For more great walks in Selwyn see the walking area of our website.