mt aspring wilderness thumb

Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike

The 4 day Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike is a trip into the heart of the of the Mt Aspiring National Park. This is a true New Zealand wilderness experience involving travel through alpine valley systems, walking through beach forests, crossing rivers, visiting glacial lakes, and viewing snow capped glaciated mountains towering above the valley floor... truly spectacular!

Queenstown Mountain Guides use a fixed wing aircraft or helicopter to fly into the Wilkin Valley. From here it is a two hour hike up the valley to Top Forks Hut. At the end of the trip we will hike back down the Wilkin Valley and take a jet boat for the ride out, an awesome way to end the trip!

The Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike is also suitable for families and can be tailored to your groups fitness level, previous experience, and thirst for adventure. It is possible to make long days exploring the high glacial lakes, or to simply enjoy the lakes, rivers, beach forest, and scenery closer to Top Forks Hut.

This glacial carved landscape of the Mt Aspiring National Park is host to a wide variety of interesting flora and fauna. The Silver beech is the valleys most dominant tree. Above the bush line you will find snow tussock grasslands and herb fields with alpine flowers including mountain buttercups and daisies. You are likely to see a wide variety of birdlife including the South Island Fantail, Rifleman, Bellbird, the Yellow Crowned Parakeet, the Mohua (Yellowhead), and possibly the New Zealand pigeon.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

The trip starts with a 1.5 hours from Queenstown to Makarora and the Mt Aspiring National Park. From here we fly by helicopter or fixed wing into Jumboland in the Mt Aspiring national Park. From here it is a 2 hour walk with some easy river crossings to a remote hut at the head of the valley. Once at the hut you will be able to settle in and become familiar with the surrounding valley.

jumboland fixed wing

Day 2

Today we will head up the North Branch of the Wilkin Valley. This is an excellent day trip starting with a journey up through the forest and into the sub alpine zone to Lake Diana & Lucidus. Lake Lucidus is a spectacular moraine lake that was form when the glacier receded. Beyond Lake Lucidus the hiking becomes more challenging as it climbs higher into the alpine towards Lake Castalia. 

lake wilkin 2


River crossing wilkin

Day 3

The South Branch of the Wilkin Valley climbs towards Waterfall Flat & Rabbit Pass. The track starts with a climb through the beach forest and up into a steep sided gorge with waterfalls and high mountains above. For the adventurous it is possible to climb all the way to Waterfall Flat for incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

south branch

Day 4

Todays journey follows the river down the valley through beach forest to Kerin Forks hut. Our route takes us on a journey through spectacular forest, across and through the Jumboland and Wonderland flats (named for the spectacular scenery). Once we reach Kerin Forks it is a one hour jet boat ride down the lower Wilkin River back to Makarora... an exhilarating way to finish the trip! 

walk out



Map 2014

1 - 4

Map 2014

4 Days


From $1650 per person

Map 2014

Flight in included.


Summer Season - November through to April

Experience Required

You need to be comfortable carrying a pack with overnight gear and travelling through untracked areas and over uneven terrain.

Whats Included

The price of the program includes

  • Experienced local mountain guide
  • Flight into mountains
  • Jet boat ride out
  • Meals and snacks
  • Pick up and drop off at accomodation
  • Group equipment

The price of the program excludes

  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Optional flight out

More Information

detailed trip notesequipment listFAQ