West Matukituki Valley
PHOTO: DOC

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Introduction

The walk to Aspiring Hut and beyond gives great views up and down the West Matukituki Valley. It leads onto French Ridge and Liverpool Hut tracks.

Track overview

Up to 17.2 km one way

Walking and tramping

Various: 2 hr 30 min - 6 hr Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track
Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

Raspberry Creek car park to Aspiring Hut

Time: 2 hr - 2 hr 30 min
Distance: 9 km

The walk to Aspiring Hut is mainly over grassed flats – leave farm gates as you find them – with a couple of easily negotiated small bluffs that give great views up and down the valley.

The historic Cascade Hut can be seen from the last bluff – Aspiring Hut is twenty minutes beyond this locked, private hut.

Aspiring Hut.

Aspiring Hut

Category: Serviced Alpine
Facilities: 38 bunk beds, cooking, heating, lighting, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Aspiring Hut to Pearl Flat

Time: 1 hr 30 min
Distance: 5 km

The track enters the bush near Aspiring Hut. After 10 minutes a bridge crosses Cascade Creek, and a 1 km bush section emerges onto an open terrace leading to Shovel Flat. From the head of Shovel Flat there’s 400 m of bush before you reach Pearl Flat.

At Pearl Flat, the West Matukituki Track connects with French Ridge Track and Liverpool Track.

Pearl Flat to head of the valley

Time: 2 hr
Distance: 3.2 km

From the top of Pearl Flat the track enters the bush on the river’s true right. Cross the Liverpool swingbridge. After 10 minutes the track branches, giving access to another swing bridge across the river for the track to French Ridge Hut. Continue up the river’s true right and cross a major avalanche chute from Mount Barff. The track then climbs through the beech forest to emerge from a patch of mountain ribbonwood to open scrubby country. An avalanche in 2013 destroyed the swing bridge across the Matukituki River – river crossing skills are now required.

Marked with a cairn on top, Scotts Rock Biv, a smal land not entirely waterproof rock-shelter, is found on the true left towards the head of the valley.

Note: The route beyond the head of the valley to Bevan Col is for experienced trampers and climbers only.

Getting there

The Matukituki Valley is an hour’s drive west from Wanaka.

The track starts from the road-end at the Raspberry Flat car park.

Know before you go

  • Plan properly and ensure that you follow the outdoor safety code.
  • Overnight trampers need a sleeping bag, cooking utensils and sufficient food, warm and waterproof clothing – including gloves and hat.
  • Good fitness and equipment are essential to enjoying your trip, especially as unpredictable weather patterns mean that cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year. These valleys aren’t closed in winter, but snow can make travel difficult and dangerous.

Adverse weather: The weather can change rapidly in New Zealand. Hypothermia is a real risk even in summer. Be prepared by having warm, windproof clothing and the appropriate footwear. Whiteout conditions caused by snow or low cloud may be present.

Be avalanche alert: This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information and the terrain rating for this track.

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

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
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