The Gates of Haast Waterfall

Image: Alastair Penn | Creative Commons

Introduction

This track is for experienced trampers and starts at the Gates of Haast Bridge. Like most of the smaller valleys in this area, the Wills’ lower reaches are gorged, and then open out to flats further up.

Track overview

7.5 km one way

Walking and tramping

5 - 6 hr Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

This track is for experienced trampers and starts at the Gates of Haast Bridge. From State Highway 6 the track drops down under the Gates of Haast Bridge then traverses across a large slip before climbing back up into forest. Avoiding the sting of native nettle, follow the old bridle trail for about 10 minutes. At this point the track branches off to climb then sidle above the Wills Gorge’s west side until reaching a smaller slip.

To keep on the track stay high on the slip to reach a steel ladder and climb the small rock bluff. Continue through the forest, cross several small slips, then descend to a large grassy river flat where the marked track ends.

Wills Hut is on the true left, on a small river terrace close to the bush edge; about 40 minutes from the start of the flat. 

There is an impressive narrow gorge an hour beyond the hut and well worth a visit. If you are going to the head of the valley you can easily by-pass the gorge by climbing up and sidling around to the east.

A climb up onto the Bealey Range, at 980 metres, starts directly opposite the hut. This is an interesting day trip that offers panoramic views. A three- to four-day tramp over Wilson Pass to the Hunter Valley is also possible.

Know before you go

Be avalanche alert: This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information.

The visitor centre in Makarora is no longer available. Contact the Awarua/Haast or Tititea/Mount Aspiring National Park visitor centres for visitor information, including trip planning, and track and weather updates for this region.

Contacts

Tititea / Mount Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 443 7660
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   mtaspiringvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Ardmore Street
Wanaka 9305
Postal Address:   PO Box 93
Wanaka 9343
Back to top