West Matukituki Track
Avalanche danger during winter and Scott Bivi swing bridge has been destroyed
There is avalanche danger during winter and spring (June-November) on the Pearl Flat to the head of the valley section.
Scott Bivi swing bridge has been destroyed - river crossing skills required - exercise caution.
Pest Control operation
As part of the Battle for our Birds pest operation, access to some tracks in the West Branch of the Matukituki valley will be temporarily restricted on Tuesday 2 December 2014 for up to 24 hours during an aerial toxin drop.
For safety reasons it is strongly recommended that people avoid entering the pest control area while the helicopter operation is taking place. Signage and Department of Conservation staff will indicate when the valley is again safe for travel.
NOTE: If delays are encountered, the pest operation could continue into Wednesday 3 December 2014. If this occurs, some track restrictions will continue for this extra day
Great Walk/Easier tramping track
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.
Plan and prepare
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.
- 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.
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