IntroductionThe track to Camp Flat is easily accessible and an interesting day trip. You can continue on for another 13 km to the head of the valley.
Blue Pools car park to Camp Flat
Time: 2 - 3 hr one way
Distance: 2.5 km one way
The Blue valley is easily accessible and an interesting day or overnight trip. The track starts at the Blue Pools car park. After 20 minutes, the valley track branches off just after the swing bridge over the Makarora River. The scenic Blue Pools are a 10 minute (return) side trip from this point.
From the junction, the track climbs around and above the Blue River and drops to cross a forested basin of mature tawhai / silver beech. The track then climbs again, sidles up a gorge and descends
to Camp Flat, a grassy and pleasant lunch stop or campsite
Camp Flat to head of valley
Time: 6 - 7 hr one way
Distance: 13.5 km one way
Follow the poled track up the true left of the valley. Take care around a semi-active slip and awkward access along the river’s edge. Cross the Blue River about 50 metres below its north branch and stay on the true right for about 6-7 hours to reach the upper grassy flats.
The track starts at the Blue Pools car park off SH6, opposite Cameron Flat campsite. From Wānaka, drive north on the Haast Highway (SH6) to Makarora township. Continue along the highway for about 12 km.
The weather can change rapidly in New Zealand. Hypothermia is a real risk even in summer. Be prepared by having warm, waterproof, windproof clothing and the appropriate footwear. Whiteout conditions caused by snow or low cloud may be present. Check the Mount Aspiring National Park weather forecast – NIWA website.
There may be fallen trees after adverse weather, so be prepared for longer tramping times.
This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information.
Stay safe when crossing rivers
If you plan to cross unbridged rivers, know how to cross safely and be prepared for if you cannot cross.
Do not cross if the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe. Turn back or wait for the river to drop. If in doubt, stay out.