Devil's Punchbowl Falls
South Island's Best Waterfall Outside Of Fiordland
NZ Gps: 42° 55' 59.9412" S 171° 34' 1.146" E
Devil’s Punchbowl Falls is the must-see attraction of Arthur’s Pass. This waterfall is as near to perfect as you can ask for—high, mighty, and mesmerizing with numerous view vantages. High above Arthur’s Pass Village the creek spits from a notch in the rocky ridge and cascades 131 meters in ethereal splendor. The waterfall gets great afternoon light, making it quite transfixing to simply sit on the view platform and study the myriad of feathery wisps.
A quick track heads from the signed carpark 500m west of the village center (or just walk from the village.) The track is only about 1km, but it’s mostly steps and stairways—you’ve got to earn your up-close date with this Devil! At the view platform a constant misty spray will tickle your skin and spot-up your photo attempts (bring a lens cloth).
Other than just gaping at the falls, there’s a rough slippery path up from the platform that accesses the windwhipped waterfall pool. Amazingly enough some people go for a quick dip in this devilishly cold pool….brrrrrrr, talk about “cold as hell”!