Bealey Spur

Bealey Spur

Bealey Spur is one of the most well known ‘day walks’ in Arthur’s Pass. The walk starts from a small village called Bealey close to the township of Arthur’s Pass. The walk is reasonably popular amongst locals and tourists and will often be recommended by the DOC information centre in Arthur’s Pass. The hike takes you up through beech forest and alpine tussock with views up towards the Mingha valley and the head of the Waimakariri River. If this is your first-ever time hiking, Bealey Spur is a track that will give you a great taste of hiking.


5 hours


12 km


600 metres




Easy – Moderate

Nathan standing in amongst the tussock as the sun starts dipping behind the mountains | @j7osh

In Detail

Arthur’s Pass is well known for its beautiful scenery, being right on the alpine fault, there are many mountain ranges in the area. It is also one of the main routes through to the west coast or the south island. Bealey Spur attracts many visitors because of its ease of access and the views that it offers. Ensure when leaving your car for the hike, you take all valuables with you. With the carpark being so close to the road it’s becoming known as a hotspot for theft. If you do come across any suspicious activity in the area, ensure you report it to the Police ‘111’. Note down the vehicles registration plate if you can.

Josh snapping up some shots on the way back down from Bealey Spur Hut as sunset closes in

Getting There


The track up Bealey Spur begins from the small grass car park off the side of the road from State Highway 73. The track begins by following a residents-only access road through the baches of Bealey. At the top of the road, the Bealey Spur track begins marked by an official DOC sign with times and distances marked. It then climbs up through the beech forest for approximately x hours and then breaks out into tussock and much smaller shrubs. This alternates as you climb up the hill, alternating between tussock and forest right up until you make it to Bealey Spur Hut.

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Through the Forest

The track begins in the forest, gently climbing along Bealey spur. Tree roots strangle the track giving off a mysterious feel when trees are so old and tall. The gentle climb is broken into smaller sections of flat walking and boardwalks over parts of the trail where it’s muddy.

Top: One of the many small boardwalks through the forest on the way up to Bealey Spur Hut
Bottom: Josh getting a roll-on in the forest flats where the walking was really comfortable

It doesn’t take long before the beech forest breaks into regenerating bush and you get your first views across Bruce Stream. There are a number of small viewing points between the bush that allow you to check out your surroundings before heading onto the trail and continuing your hike up along the spur. It’s rewarding seeing how far you have hiked, knowing that you are making progress.

Top: Sitting out on one of the ledges on the way up Bealey Spur, feet dangling below
Bottom: Looking down on Bruce Stream from the same ledge

Shrubs and Tussock

Eventually, the beech trees break out into tussock and smaller shrubs about x hours through the hike. This is an ideal turn around point if you’re not up to travelling further. The scenery is beautiful, views stretching up towards the head of the Waimakariri River, up to the Mingha Valley and out towards White Hill station. The views from here will not disappoint on a clear day.

Top: Overlooking the Waimakariri River as it snakes up towards the Southern Alps
Bottom: Looking up State Highway towards where it splits towards Arthur’s Pass and the Mingha River

Unfortunately, the views only last for a short amount of time before climbing back into the forest as you climb further up Bealey Spur towards Bealey Spur Hut. This part of the hike has a very distinctive section pictured below with an endless number of routes tangled up with one another. Between the roots, it can be muddy turning the track into an obstacle course.

A muddy part of the track that is always memorable

Boardwalks and Tarns

An iconic section of the Bealey Spur Track is the long boardwalk over the marshland. The boardwalk is another significant point in the hike where you get views out over the mountain ranges. It provides as another alternative turning point in the trail before reaching the hut. It’s long and stretches quite some distance over the marshland terrain looking out over the marsh.

Top: Nathan making his way down the boardwalk, making his way onward to Bealey Spur Hut | @j7osh
Josh packing his bag before heading off along the boardwalk again

The track climbs further through more beech forest. There is a gap in the trees opening to a group of tarns. The tarns sit in the marshland and should not be accessed. Doing so would most likely destroy the natural flora in the area. The tarns are located on the same marshland as the long boardwalk that you cross, however, it is difficult to see the tarns with the boardwalk being tired and ageing. Once again further up along the track, there is another larger break that overlooks the tarns as you look back towards the carpark. It is only a short distance between the boardwalk and this next section of tussock lands.

Top: Looking through the trees to the tarns on Bealey Spur
Bottom: Up in the tussocks looking out over the tarns and the surrounding mountains on the way up to Bealey Spur Hut

Final Clearing

Finally, there is one last opening in the walk up to Bealey Spur Hut before the track follows the forest right the way through to the hut. Although there aren’t such good views from the track, further towards the hillside there would is a beautiful camp spot if you were to turn this hike into an overnight adventure. From this clearing, it is only a further 5 – 10 mins until Bealey Spur Hut.

Nathan looking out over towards Mt Bealey in the north | @j7osh

Bealey Spur Hut

Bealey Spur Hut is an old hut Musterer’s hut that has been well looked after and repainted but remains mostly in the same state as it did back in the day. The Hut is fitted with 6 short bunks, in a staple shape held by wooden branches. A toilet is located directly opposite the hut. According to the DOC website, there is also a water tank situated near the hut.

Bunk Beds

6 bunks


Fireplace, Toilet, Water tank



Top: The final few metres of the forest before making it to Bealey Hut in the clearing
Bottom: Josh outside Bealey Hut checking his shots

The hut has a fireplace, however, there is very poor ventilation. It turns the hut into a smokebox at times. Even when there is no fire going there is still a distinct smoke coated odour that lingers. If you are ever trying to get the fire going the hut or are doing some cooking, I would strongly suggest leaving the door wide open to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Top: The toilet amongst the bush, opposite Bealey Spur Hut
Middle: The door into Bealey Sput (Top) Hut, my Offcut cap hanging off the door
The sleeping quarters inside Bealey Hut constructed of old branches

Point 1545

Up above Bealey Spur, there is a quite a dominant peak that can be seen. The peak is referenced as 1545 on the topographical map. Although we did not have enough time to make it up to this point during our hike from talking to people and reading around the web I have heard that is well worth the trip if you are experienced. It would make a beautiful campsite up on the peak. It takes approximately forty-five minutes to reach the summit marked by a cairn. There is no marked track to the top.

Looking up towards point 1545 from Bealey Spur Hut as the golden hour sets in

Sunset on Bealey Spur

On our return journey, we tried our best to time sunset with arriving at the first clearing if you were climbing Bealey Spur. Although we missed some of the colours while we were coming down we were able to catch the tail end. It is essential that if you are planning on being outside for sunset that you bring a head torch with you along with plenty of warm clothes. As soon as the sun goes down it gets cold very quickly.

Top: Hiking back down through the fields of tussock as the
Middle: The tail end of the sunset looking back from where we had come from
Bottom: Josh looking out over towards Carrington Hut and the Southern Alps

In the Area

Arthur’s Pass is well known as being a hiking and mountaineering mecca in New Zealand. Avalanche Peak is another of the well known classic day walks in Arthur’s Pass that many people know of. It is best walked in the seasons of Summer and Autumn because of snow and avalanche risk that is posed during the Winter and Spring months. If you are looking for an overnight hike and enjoyed walking the Bealey Spur Track be sure to check out the hike into Lagoon Saddle. The hike overlooks Bealey Spur and has a number of smaller huts that are free to stay in.


  1. Josh Morgan says:

    Loved this one mate! Heres to more adventures

    1. Cheers mate! Such an awesome time out in the wild shooting with you. Next time it will be exploring waterfalls!