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.
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.
Pearl Flat to head of the valley
Time: 2 hr
Distance: 3.2 km
This upper section of the West Matukituki Track is classified as a route and is suitable for experienced trampers only.
From the top of Pearl Flat the track enters the bush on the West Matukituki River’s true right. 10 minutes up valley from the Liverpool Swing Bridge, cross the French Ridge Swing Bridge to the beginning of the French Ridge Track.
After a climb of 100m, a track branching off to the left sidles through beech forest before reaching open scrubby country - approximately 500 m upstream and 50 m from the river from this point is Scotts Rock Biv; a small and not entirely waterproof rock shelter marked with a cairn on top. Easy open travel leads from the biv back across the river to the head of the valley.
Other tracks in the area
From Aspiring Hut you can get to French Ridge and Liverpool huts via French Ridge Track and Liverpool Track.
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
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.
- The route beyond the head of the valley to Bevan Col is for experienced trampers and climbers only.
- The Scotts Rock swing bridge destroyed by an avalanche in 2013 will not be replaced. To avoid the need to cross the river below Scotts Rock Biv, use the new replacement track on the true right of the river that starts after a 100m climb from the French Ridge Track Swing Bridge.
- 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.