Arguably the most well-known waterfall in Canterbury is at Arthur’s Pass, Devils Punchbowl. This is a three-hour drive from Christchurch. I had spent 9 months trying to convince a local to drive me out there for the day. Since I didn’t have a car I had two other options which were the train and bus both requiring me to stay overnight for something that was only going to take two hours at most.
Day 1 – Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall 09.20.2019
My mate Brad borrowed an SUV from a friend and we headed out to Arthur’s Pass. The first stop was in Springfield, yep the real Springfield from the Simpsons. It wasn’t even in the United States, mind-blowing. We stopped to get coffee and take a photo with the donut.
The second stop was Castle Hill. We stopped here on the way back as well. The first stop was on the east side which has a short hiking trail that leads to a cave. I assume you need a guide to do this but they have the chains to go into the cave and down a waterfall.
Once we arrived at Arthur’s Pass it is about a thirty-minute hike to the waterfall. First, you cross a bridge over a river, which I assume in the early spring it is flooded. The majority of the hike on the way up doesn’t have too many openings to see the falls or river. Once you arrive there is a platform over the river looking directly at the falls which is great for pictures.
If you’re interested you can hop over the railing on the stairs and continue to walk a hiking path. This path leads you to the bottom of the falls. The bottom looked deep enough to swim but the current was pretty rough due to the falls so I’m not sure if that would be a good idea.
On our way back we stopped on the other side of Castle Hill. With the sun going down we didn’t spend too much time here and headed back to Christchurch.
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