"Takes you places"

NZ – Mt Aspiring Circuit

Activity Inventory Entry

New Zealand
Extended Walk
8 days
This outlines an 8 day walk in the NZ Mt Aspiring national park. This walk is well marked , popular and there are both huts and camping facilities. The walk outlined here includes two worthwhile side trips. Current details, permits and maps should sought from the NZ Dept of Conservation (DOC) (This walk was organised and lead by Andrew Cope)
October 22, 2016, by Trevor May
Entry and hut or camping permits are required from NZ DOC.
Maps can be obtained from NZ DOC. The relevant topo map is Makarora 1:50,000.
The trails are reasonably well marked and navigation is not difficult normally however weather conditions can change dramatically and tracks become damaged or cut by swollen rivers. Good maps, compass and GPS should be carried.
This walk can be started from Queenstown NZ or, preferably and closer to the start, from Wanaka.
Travel to the start of the walk can be arranged with local providers eg Alpine Connections. The same people can pick up as required after the walk.
Water everywhere but sometimes not on the harder, steeper sections. Carry 1-2 L.
Entry permits and hut/camping reservations are required and, sometimes, checked. Preferably obtained before arriving in NZ during the peak season.

The route taken for this particular activity was as follows however there are other options within and beyond this itinerary.

  • Transport to near Makarora Visitor Centre. Cross river and walk to Young Hut (15k) . (see later note on river crossings)
  • Young Hut to Siberia Hut (17k/9Hr) – Steep climb over Gillespie Pass.
  • Lake Crucible side trip (worthwhile) (14K)
  • Siberia Hut to Kerin Forks Hut (7k/3hr)
  • Kerin Forks Hut to Top Forks Hut ( 15k/8Hr)
  • Lake Dianna, Lucidus & Castalia side trip. (worthwhile) (16K)
  • Top Forks Hut to Kerin Forks Hut.
  • Kerin Forks Hut to Makarora River and pick up on road to return to Wanaka. (15K/5hr)  Note – There is a jet boat option from near Kerin Forks Hut for this last day – recommended. The walk out is OK but a tad tedious.

At the locations indicated there are huts with bunks and also outside camping options if the huts are busy.  You should carry a tent and your own fuel and cooking facilities which are not provided.

Supplementary Information

There are strict quarantine rules on entry to NZ. All food must be commercially packaged and sealed. No fresh food or personally prepared dehydrated meals were permitted at the time of this walk. Tents and gear may be unpacked and cleaned of any soil or dirt. Food is best bought in NZ. Good hiking supplies are available and NZ made dehydrated meals are reasonably priced. Check the current rules at the time.

RIVER CROSSINGS –   Most ‘tramping’ deaths in NZ apparently are due to drownings when crossing rivers.  Many walkers from dry places like SA haven’t a clue about when to or not to cross a river or how to do it safely.  Rivers can rise and become a hazard very quickly. There are a number of river crossings required on this walk. Instructions are NOT given here. Do some homework and be careful.

The best time for walking in NZ weather-wise is, apparently, February but conditions can change at any time.

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Activity Inventory

These activity outlines have been compiled from information provided by ABW members.

Their accuracy is subject to variations in individual members’ observations, climate and weather conditions, land and ownership, accessibility, national park rules and permits.

Members should not rely on this information but use it as a guide and supplement it with their own research as appropriate.

While all endeavors will be made to ensure that the information is kept current, it is the responsibility of members using these records to confirm that they are up to date.

Adelaide Bushwalkers