Frequently Asked Questions
We are easy to find! In the centre of Arthur's Pass Village, the lodge is on the left hand side if travelling from Canterbury, or on the right hand side if driving from Westland. The lodge is signposted, and sits approximately halfway between the DOC Visitor Centre and the Arthur's Pass Store.
Driving times to Arthur’s Pass
From Greymouth or Hokitika: 1.5 hours. From Christchurch: 2-2.5 hours.
Tranz Alpine train
Many groups choose to travel to and/or from Arthur's Pass on the Tranz Alpine Train.
Please visit Kiwi Rail Tranz Alpine website or phone them on 0800 TRAINS (0800 872 467) for booking. Let them know that you are visiting Arthur's Pass Outdoor Education Centre to recieve a special discounted fare.
The APOEC manager has many established programmes they commonly run in the area, with the assistance of the class teacher and parent help. The teacher/parents are responsible for evening activities.
An ecology and bush skills based programme is run by APOEC, primarily aimed at intermediate aged students. The programme is very flexible to allow for any objectives that the group may have.
The APOEC manager assists the teacher/s in the running of daytime outdoor activities for visiting school groups. The manager is experienced in outdoor education, risk management and handling emergencies in the backcountry. They will be with you for all of your activities. They often run activities between 9:00am - 5:00pm, but can be available outside of these hours if you discuss your programme need with them prior. Even when off duty the APOEC manager is available to aid in anything that may arise after hours.
Parent help and ratios
All programmes require a certain level of supervision:
- Around the Lodge and Games: 1:8
- Hiking and on most Activities: 1:6
- Water Activities: 1:4
Sound risk management is a cornerstone of the APOEC programme. A copy of APOEC’s Safety Management Plan and Risk Management Packages are available on this website. Also if possible the APOEC manager can come to your school and run you through how we keep you safe while here at APOEC.
Guide dogs are permitted in the national park and several local walks are challenging but quite achievable for blind adventurers. The lodge can help provide for diabetic diets and has a wheelchair ramp. Also we can look at developing a programme which can be inclusive for the individuals.
Vodafone phones have reception in the village area. While Spark phones have reception from Arthur's Pass summit to the Bealey Hotel. It is important for all adult supervisors to have access to a cell phone while on camp.
The lodge sleeps 45 persons.
The lodge has a coal fire in the dining room and heaters in the hallways and bathrooms. The bunkrooms are not heated so that they maintain a comfortable temperature for sleeping. Each room has double glazing to trap the heap. The building is well insulated, and was recently upgraded with wool underfloor insulation.
Bring a pillow or pillow case (to be stuffed with clothing) and warm sleeping bag/blankets.
The visiting group takes responsibility in cooking their own food. The Lodge has a commercial stove top/oven and a microwave.
For school groups, food is provided during term time or by request.
Cooking and eating utensils
APOEC provides cooking and eating utensils.
A gas BBQ is available and is often used to cook meals outside during nice weather.
There’s no milk in the lodge but can be purchased through the local store. Phone the Arthur's Pass Store on (03) 318 9235.
Television/Videos/DVDs and Wifi
Television reception is not available at the APOEC lodge. However, the lodge does have a CD and DVD player and data projector for use, as well as a selection of Natural History and Mountain Safety DVDs. If bringing a laptop, please bring your own data cables, especially if you have a MAC. APOEC has internal Wifi available to all visiting group members, if you are on a Spark plan their is also very good free Wifi available from their hotspot located only 20m away.
Devices can be connected to our surround sound system, or play wirelessly through the LCD television.
The APOEC lodge has a large wash tub but no washing machine.
The APOEC lodge has a large and efficient drying room.
Groups are required to leave the lodge in a clean and tidy state. All cleaning materials are provided including check lists for each area that need to be cleaned.
Services at Arthur’s Pass
- Arthur's Pass Cafe and Store
A shop/cafe with snacks, basic groceries, bottle store, 91 unleaded petrol and diesel, ATM machine.
- Wobbly Kea
Meals and bar.
- Department of Conservation Visitor Centre
Valuable information on tramping and climbing in the area can be obtained at the headquarters of the Department of Conservation for the area. There are also interesting displays and an audio-visual show on the history of the Arthur’s Pass road and railway.
The APOEC manager, Arthur’s Pass Police, Arthur's Pass Rescue, and Arthur's Pass Rural Fire brigade are equipped and experienced to deal with most emergencies. However, the village is an hour’s drive from the nearest medical centre and pharmacy, so it is important to ensure spare medication is carried for those who need it. The visiting group is responsible for maintaining a list of home contact details and medical/allergies information for all members.
First aid kits
APOEC has 3x spare first aid kits for outdoor activities. We also carry one in the Manager's Office and in the Kitchen. As well as one in the glove compartment of the APOEC Van. We require them to be with all groups when out on activities.
The nearest medical centres are at Darfield on the east coast, or Moana on the west, both approximately 1 hours drive. The response time for the Westpac rescue helicopter is usually between 45 minutes and 1 hour, or 1 hour for an ambulance.
The APOEC manager is also highly trained in First Aid as part of their prerequisite to employment.
We do have sandflies and they can be more active during warmer weather. If your child suffers from sever reactions to insect bites then we recommend their medication be with them the entire time here. Other wise insect repellant should be carried for any time children are outside of the lodge.
Chains should be carried from May to September. For optimum safety, please check that they fit and that you know how to use them.
State Highway 73 can be closed by snow in winter and/or flooding at any time of year. These closures are usually less than 12 hours. Carrying chains will mean that you are less likely to be held up by winter conditions. The APOEC lodge maintains sufficient food supplies in the event of a prolonged closure of SH 73 to both the East and West of the village.
Highway reports are available via the Transit New Zealand info line, 0800 444449, or by clicking on Transit Road Report.
The Annual rainfall is around 4500mm. While this figure makes the area sound rather damp, the area has a comparable number of sunshine hours to Christchurch. It's just that when it rains, it really rains! The average maximum temperature for January is 15.2 degrees and the average minimum is 7.0 degrees. A really hot summer day may get into the low 30s. The average maximum temperature for June is 9.0 degrees and the minimum is 0.4 degrees. A really cold winter day may dip below minus 10.