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  • 3 day and 4 day Mt. Aspiring Treks

  • 4 day Mt. French Trek/Climb

  • 4 or 5 day custon planned Ecology Workshops based  in Sthn Lakes region/facilitated by Geoff Wayatt w/50yrs of Worldwide mountain & snow experience

MT. ASPIRING GUIDED TREKS: Our treks commence in Wanaka with a drive to the Matukituki Valley. It is an easy 3 hour valley walk to our self contained private Lodge at Shovel Flat at the base of Mt. Aspiring, in the heart of the Park. A variety of guided activities are available from 3 to 8 days including valley walking, alpine treks and peak climbing on a group or individual basis including:

Matukituki river

Aspiring from Avalanche Lodge

Clear streams & Joffre cliffs

MT. ASPIRING TREK - 3 DAYS "A Taste of the Mountains"

THREE DAYS of guided trekking, visiting waterfalls, icefalls and viewing avalanches around the base of Mt. Aspiring.

Day 1: Stroll up the magnificent Matukituki Valley to our private Lodge with a Mtn Rec. Guide past superb waterfalls and towering peaks. The last hour of the three hour walk is in lush beech forest before emerging at Shovel Flat. A comfortable mountain hut atmosphere, bunkroom or tent accommodation, meals, hot shower, sleeping bags and liners are provided. Available for individual, group or exclusive use.

Day 2: Explore the dramatic upper valley and the spectacular 1500 metre Joffre Cliffs, 300 metre waterfalls, tumbling icefalls, glaciers and splendid varieties of alpine flowers. Alternatively, the day can be spent around Shovel Flat visiting huge ice caves and waterfalls near the hut. Day 3: A leisurely stroll drown the valley pausing to fish, swim or watch bird life in the forests and flats.

Cost: 2024 -poa


A taste of the mountains" Mt. Aspiring Guided Trek - 4 day option: Includes a day trek to the Break-Away Glacier.

(Click here for Guided Trek Notes)
(Click here for Equipment Lists)

2024 Cost: poa (min. 2 persons/or surcharge) Season: ALL YEAR ROUND


A Taste of Mountaineering. Join our four day climb to the expansive and wild Bonar Glacier with a professional Mountain Guide. Attempt Mt French and gain an inspiring view of Mt Aspiring after an overnight stay at French Ridge Hut. No previous mountaineering experience required, however participants should be fit. 

2024 Cost: poa (minimum of 2 /or surcharge) Season: September to June

July 2023 Update
The following trips have been wonderful past journeys.
However, climate change and glacial recession has radically altered the terrain.
In current circumstances Mountain Recreation is no-longer able to offer them.  

Franz Josef/Fox Glacier Summit to Sea 
New Zealand has 3150 glaciers; one for every 1000 residents. The biggest is the Tasman, 30
klms long and sedate skiing with daily ski plane access from Mt. Cook village.
However just over the Main Divide on the West Coast are two glacial giants, the Fox and the Franz Josef. We travel down to Chancellor Terrace alongside the 2nd Icefall and within sight of the glacier's terminal face. The glacier 's changes are spectacular as it descends to the rain forest and coastal plain.

Day 1: Wanaka to Fox village/Fly to Pioneer hut at 2,400m.
Day 2: Climb of Mt. Grey/Governor's Col w/views of Tasman Glacier.
Day 3: Descend snow passing upper icefall to the flower Chancellor terrace & hut.
Day 4: 
Paddle in the sea at Knights Point enroute to Wanaka.


WEST OF THE DIVIDE - "Just a taste of mountaineering"

New in 2011



A special opportunity to visit a high and remote location requiring strong mtn. fitness, but no specific alpine skills.

It is a chance to photo spectacular alpine & Aoraki/Mt. Cook & Sefton sunsets.
Complete a small climb of Scott's Peak and descend the Horace Walker Glacier into the dynamic Douglas valley for a helicopter pick-up. Fly-in/Fly out.

Cost: poa
Includes: Transport to Fox from Wanaka, helicopter ride to Lucy Walker Glacier, 3 days guiding fee, alpine eqt. ice axe and crampons.  
Cost for 2 persons: poa

Join us for a 4 day journey down one of the largest glaciers in New Zealand, the Fox. It's our HOT new successful expedition requiring a lot of enthusiasm, good fitness and fine weather. Details: 4 day Fox Expedition

We conduct private guided treks & climbs throughout Mt Aspiring and Mt Cook National Parks during the Summer and Winter seasons. Aircraft access, food and hut fees extra.
Cost dependent on excursion: poa

Facilities at our Shovel flat ,"Avalanche" Lodge are for our exclusive client use and include: Dining and kitchen, bunkroom and hot shower.

Our Base - Avalanche Lodge
and O'Bryan&Ranken families,

Clear, clean streams

click for larger view

Extract from Air NZ inflight magazine:

"ADVENTURE AND COMFORT FOR ASPIRING CLIMBERS" Avalanche Lodge is a name which could give some people insomnia. However, after a three hour walk up the West Matukituki Valley of Mount Aspiring National Park in the Southern Alps, most trekkers sleep well despite the rumble of snow avalanches.

View of Aspiring from Avalanche Lodge window

The lodge is operated by Geoff & Beryl Wayatt as part of their mountaineering and guided-trekking business. It is nestled at the top of Shovel Flat, surrounded by a spectacular circle of snow peaks and hanging glaciers. The visually elusive Mount Aspiring crowns the breathtaking backdrop.

Since forming Mountain Recreation Ltd. in 1973, the Wayatts' clientele has changed considerably. "Our mountaineering school numbers have dwindled and we are now seeing more of the older, less altitude ambitious groups," says Geoff Wayatt.

"They want to spend time in wild locations without suffering too much or carrying heavy packs. They love energetic days but want the guarantee of a dry bunk and warm sleeping bag. I have also installed a hot shower as an alternative to a cold plunge in the Matukituki River."

Geoff Wayatt, a veteran mountain guide, was the first person to ski from the summit of Mount Cook in 1982. He climbed the precipitous East Face of Mt Cook in 1991, seven days before the summit fell off. He has confirmed his standing as one of New Zealand's most experienced mountain guides by amassing a total record of 88 ascents of Mt. Aspiring and 27 ascents of Aoraki/Mt. Cook from 1966 to Dec 2014. (2023 Update: 92 ascents)

"The Routeburn and Milford Tracks are almost at their full capacity, so people are looking for alternatives or more adventure." Most of the National Park is untracked and rarely seen, except by aircraft. For enthusiasts willing to walk a few hours a day, Mt. Aspiring Treks opens up a dramatic world of unparalleled mountain and forest vistas.

Useful Link: New Zealand Tourism

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