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 – please 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 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 metres of bush before you reach Pearl Flat.
Pearl Flat to head of the valley
Time: 2 hr
Distance: 3.2 km
Please note that 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 river’s true right. After 10 minutes the track branches, giving access to a swing bridge across the river for the route to French Ridge Hut. Continue up the river’s true right and cross a major avalanche chute from Mt Barff.
The track then climbs through the beech forest to emerge from a patch of mountain ribbonwood to open, scrubby country. Cross the swingbridge over the West Matukituki River here. Some 500 metres upstream, 50 metres from the river, is Scotts Rock Biv, a small and not entirely waterproof rock shelter. Easy open travelling 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 Hut 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.