The Arthur's Pass Store is quite the heartbeat of the town. Near to the postal 'centre' and offering a welcome place to rest, especially in the cold winter. You can warm up, eat and shelter from the harsh wind and snow. Of course summer is not that way but it's still a great place to visit.
The Store has a small amount of often needed products to buy, as well as being a cafe and even has an internet kiosk.
You can buy nice postcards and souvenirs here and the staff are knowledgable and friendly.
This is also the place where you can donate to the "Save the Kiwi" programme for helping to prevent kiwi population deminishing.
I was told that this is a sure place to see keas as well, although we were there in summer and during summer months kea feed up in the hills where they find plenty of natural food, berries etc.
So if you visit other than summer, keas love to visit the store to find food. We are encouraged tho, not to feed them, as human food is not so good for them.
The DOC Information centre in Arthur's Pass is well worth the visit. It has a wonderful display area, and also sells tickets and travel links, as well as souvenirs.
They also stock a small but needy selection of warm and protective clothing, as well as some hiking and survival equipment.
The main displays are on natural assets, mostly fauna and birds. Also the story of how the pioneers originally cut thru the rock and forged a trail thru the pass. In recent years, one part of the road that was plagued by slips, has been replaced with a viaduct. You can read about and view photos on the progress and ultiimate completion of that project.
Some Maori mythology is also depicted in the displays along with some information on rock structure of the area.