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: 33 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.
The track starts at the Raspberry Creek car park, 54 km west of Wanaka on the Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Road. The last 30 km are unsealed. The last 10 km is a fine weather road only and subject to washouts and flooded creeks that can be impassable – check road conditions before you leave.
The drive takes about an hour. Transport services from Wanaka to the car park are available.
Know before you go
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.
Private property: This track crosses private land. Respect the landowner's livestock and property: stay on the marked track until you reach the conservation land, leave gates as you find them and use stiles where provided. Livestock can be unpredictable – keep your distance at all times/go around if necessary.
No camping until the conservation area boundary.
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.