Devils Punchbowl Waterfall Walk – Arthur’s Pass Village

Don’t you just wonder sometimes where these lovely names come from or who thinks them up – Devils Punchbowl – a little bit bizzare.  The name is where the bizzare stops though, this is one hell of a waterfall – hey, there it is maybe – devil, hell – maybe…..

devils punchbowl waterfall and beech foresst

Anyway the Devils Punchbowl waterfall is on the edge of the Arthur’s Pass village in the Arthur’s Pass National Park.  As you enter the village from the West you can see her tumbling down the mountain.

devils punchbowl waterfall

We were lucky enough to be here on a gorgeous day but after some rain so there was certainly a good fall of water to be seen.

view of devils punchbowl waterfall from picnic lookout

It is a lovely walk across the valley, crossing two creeks via bridges to get a great ground level vantage point of the waterfall.  For some this is as far as they go and it can be enough when short of time as you at least can see the scope of the waterfall from down here and it actually gives you a really nice perspective.  There is a gorgeous little sitting area so you can relax and take it all in.

tree top walkway devils punchbowl waterfall walk

If you have more time available though, it is definitely worth continuing on up through the bush to the base of the waterfall.  The bush walk alone is worth it – like a tree top walk with wooden stairs leading you up through the forest and high into the canopy of the trees.

climbing the stairs devils punchbowl walk

The smell is gorgeous – something about the smell of a beech forest.  Don’t worry, you will be stopping to catch your breath – oh I mean to enjoy your surroundings and take it all in……. lots and lots and lots of stairs!

spray from devils punchbowl waterfall

You are soon well rewarded for the effort though as all of a sudden there she is in all her glory – the Devils Punchbowl waterfall.  Now even though  it was a beautiful day, being at the base of the waterfall was like standing in a rain shower, so very hard to photograph without trashing your camera gear.  I’d definitely recommend wearing your rain jacket – we got soaked.  Thank goodness for hiking clothing, quickly dried out.  We tried hard to get some photos – each time there was a lull in the wind but just when you thought you were safe, another spray would hit you – it was actually kinda fun.

views of creek and waterfall devils punchbowl

Meandering our way back down – lovely having time on our side and not having to be anywhere – we took a little detour to the side where you could sit practically in the water fully emmersed amongst nature.  Very serene and peaceful. Just in case you are wondering re the beanie – no it wasn’t a cold day, I just got wet at the waterfall so was keeping my head warm!

Devils punchbowl waterfall bush walk

Back down through the bushline – back down all those stairs.  You’d think it would be easy but Stephen and I passed comment to each other on the rather large gap between each step.  I figured it was to ensure you went slow and took in your surroundings – sounded plausible anyway and seemed to be working for us.

bridge to start of climb devils punchbowl waterfall

One last stop back on the bridge to admire the view.  Something about waterfalls and native bush – just can’t get enough of it.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  Rated #1 on Tripadvisor for the area, they enjoy getting out and about exploring the many wonders that make up this beautiful region – named one of the top ten regions to visit in the world by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel. 



About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
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8 Responses to Devils Punchbowl Waterfall Walk – Arthur’s Pass Village

  1. LuAnn says:

    It looks absolutely lovely. We have many natural formations in this country with the name ‘Devil’ in them as well.


  2. The devil does get around. Two days ago I was at the Devil’s Churn on the Oregon coast. It was a stormy day on the coast and the churn had turned the inlet into a whip cream consistency. –Curt


  3. coastingnz says:

    ha-ha – love that description! I think your storm may be heading our way – perhaps I need to get in a supply of apple turnovers for that whipped cream as I think our beach may look something similar by the end of the weekend.


  4. Pam says:

    You know Jan, no matter how many stairs or how long a track is, you quickly forget the effort you had to put in to get there – with views like this!


  5. aFrankAngle says:

    Spectacular. … not sure my wife’s knees would like all those steps. … and as above, the devil gets around as one of my favorite bridges is the Bridge of the Devil in Tuscany.


    • coastingnz says:

      Great names aren’t they! The nice thing about this walk is you don’t have to do the steps – you can get wonderful views from the bridge looking up towards the waterfall. Is worth attempting the steps though – just taking it slow and enjoying the surrounding bush.


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