Introduction

The Makarora area of Mount Aspiring National Park offers a number of tramping opportunities. Spectacular mountain scenery, alpine vegetation and river valleys of silver beech are highlights of this area.

Place overview

Activities

  • Hunting
  • Walking and tramping

Brochures

Tramping in the Makarora region (PDF, 939K) - trips to Brewster Hut and the Wills, Cameron and Makarora valleys

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    About this place

    Nature and conservation

    Close up of mistletoe. Image: Trevor Johnston.
    Close up of mistletoe

    Silver beech is the dominant forest tree in the Makarora region;  a host of spectacular mistletoe such as Peraxilla colensoi (left). Insect-eating birds such as fantail/pïwakawaka, tomtit/miromiro and rifleman/titipounamu thrive in the invertebrate-rich forest.  The endangered mohua or yellowhead can be seen in some valleys in this region, and kakariki (yellow-crowned parakeet), are locally common.

    Grasshoppers, weevils and black butterflies are among the many invertebrates seen in the alpine zone among the tussocks and large herbs, such as mountain daisies and buttercups which flower in spring and summer.

    History and culture

    Maori from coastal Otago and Southland visited Otago’s inland lakes to hunt moa, kakapo and weka, and to fish. They had camps around the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and in the Makarora Valley; which they knew of as Kaika Paekai – 'The place of abundant food.'

    A pack track existed up the Makarora Valley and across the Haast Pass/Tioripatea from 1876, but it wasn’t until 1965 that the road connecting Wanaka to all of the West Coast was completed.

    Getting there

    This area is accessed from SH6 north of Wanaka.

    Contacts

    Tititea / Mount Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 3 443 7660
    Address:   Ardmore Street
    Wanaka 9305
    Email:   mtaspiringvc@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
    Whakatipu-wai-Māori / Queenstown Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 3 442 7935
    Address:   50 Stanley Street
    Queenstown
    9300
    Email:   queenstownvc@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
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