This hiking adventure will take you deep into the NZ backcountry - away from crowded huts and manicured trails of the more well-known and busier New Zealand hiking trails.
Ideal for for families or anyone who wants to hike in remote areas of the Mt Aspiring National Park, but with the assurance of an experienced guide and without carrying a heavy pack. We take care of all the logistics - food & transport. All you need is a spirit of adventure, your hiking boots & a camera to capture the spectacular mountain scenery on this unique NZ hiking tour.
Ngaire, New Zealand, Upper Wilkin Experience
Pat & Greg, Canada, Upper Wilkin Experience
We meet with transport and guide at 8:30 a.m. and travel 45 minutes to the small village of Makarora. Here we board a helicopter and fly into the heart of Mount Aspiring National Park. A leisurely walk up the river flats of the Upper Wilkin valley brings us to Top Forks Hut. The afternoon is spent exploring this marvellous valley.
This day is spent discovering the three alpine lakes known as Diana, Lucidus, and Castilia. The trail climbs gradually as it weaves through native beech forest until breaking out above tree line. The hiking to the final lake, Lake Castalia, is some of the most rugged (and rewarding) terrain you will ever encounter. This day can be as long as you like, from 1 hour to 6 hours.
The hike to Waterfall Flat climbs from dense forest into the high alpine. It is a magnificent climb as the trail rises through Snow-Bridge Gorge, a deep canyon surrounded by glaciers and waterfalls. The trail is challenging until it opens out into the incomparable Waterfall Flat. Surrounded by high peaks and flowing rivers, this seldom visited valley is a unique New Zealand paradise. 6-7 hours return.
We head down river to the Kerin Forks to meet the jet boat. This is a 6-8 hour hike along the south bank of the great Wilkin River. The track is challenging with numerous side stream crossings. A thrilling 30min jet boat ride brings us back to our van and the return to Wanaka.
The hiking trip is based out of Top Forks Hut with day walks ranging from very challenging to easy. This area is one of New Zealand's great treasures. The mountains here form a glaciated cirque named by one of the South Islands great explorers, Charles Douglas. Names were important to Douglas and he saved the best for the best with magnificent hiking at the feet of Castor, Pollux, Mercury, Vesta, Juno, and Apollo.
Our professional hiking guide will ensure your safety as we explore this remote and seldom visited area. Hiking times are kept achievable (approximately 5-6 hours hiking a day) to leave time for relaxing photography or side trips. All food, energy snacks & any tent or camping gear is supplied; you may be asked to carry some group food and gear as well as own personal gear, with room for lunch, water & snacks each day.
25-30 litre pack 5-8kg
For most of our treks you will only need to carry your own personal clothing and gear: no tents, food or cooking supplies. Check the equipment and clothing required on the specific trip page as this varies for each trip. There will also be an indication of your pack weight. For our advanced trips, Adelaide Cirque and Lake Nerine, you will be required to a full pack.
Our offices are located at 58 McDougall St, Wanaka. We are a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of town. Here's a google map of our office location.
Unless otherwise instructed, your guide will meet you at 4.30 pm the day before the start of your trek. If you need a pick-up from your accommodation, please let us know. At this meeting, your clothing and equipment will be checked and final details of your trip discussed. There will be time for last-minute gear purchases if required.