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…..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.