Mount Aspiring National Park

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Overview

Established in 1964, Mount Aspiring National Park is an incredible mixture of high mountains, stunning river valleys and remote wilderness. It is a part of Te Wahipounamu, Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area and named for Mt Aspiring, one of New Zealands highest peaks and incorporates a dreamland of mountains, alpine lakes, glaciers and river valleys. This park is a must for both mountaineers and walkers alike as the views are endless and unforgettable; it straddles the southern end of the Southern Alps and it’s closest towns are Queenstown, Wanaka, Te Anau, Glenorchy and Arrowtown. If you are a wilderness lovers, the park offers a vast choice of valley journeys, one of which is the Routeburn Track which in summer is possible to walk from one valley to the other over spectacular mountain passes. The relics of the past have blended into dramatic scenery, from when Maori trekked through on their way to the Pounamu fields of the west coast to when Europeans arrived and visited to explore, map and name geographical features of the area and when settlers attempted to mine and farm here. The heart of this impressive park is a massive area of wilderness – from glaciers, mountains, valleys and wildlife habitats that require days of hiking to reach. There is plentiful rain to the west of the divide where the beech forest tracks are accompanied by the sound of birdsong and waterfalls. Grassy river flats are bordered by daunting mountains, and above the tree line – patches of tussock grass and delicate flowers and herbs survive against the elements. Another unforgettable characteristic of the park are the rock forms which have shaped beauty with a tough edge. There is only one source of accommodation within the park and it is provided by the DoC (Department of Conservation) although there are frequent hikers huts along the main walks including two ‘Great Walk’ huts located on the Routeburn Track – these need to be booked during the high season of Summer. There are also many recognized camping areas in the park. The park is surrounded by settlements that act as gateways to the park, Makarora, Haast and Glenorchy that all have accommodation including cottages, chalets, B & Bs and in Haast & Glenorchy you will also find motels and hotels. To create a well-rounded and balanced adventure, jet boats can be combined with a valley walk, and some of the parks rivers such as the Wilkin, Matukituki River and the Dart are accesible by jet boat. Heli skiing is an option that can be found on the Northern Buchanans and Albertburn, and the park provides mountaineers with an extensive choice of ascents – from Mt Aspiring to Mt Awful.
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Location & Maps

Westland District, West Coast, New Zealand (Direction)

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