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Mount Aspiring National Park

Named after Mt Aspiring, one of New Zealand's highest peaks, this park has mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes.

In the past, Maori trekked through the region on their way to the pounamu fields of the west coast; Europeans visited to map, name and explore geographical features of the area; settlers attempted to farm and mine some of the valleys - the relics have blended into the stunning scenery.

For wilderness lovers, the park offers an extensive choice of valley journeys - including the Routeburn Track. In summer, it's possible to walk from one valley to another over spectacular mountain passes.

Key Highlights

In straddling the 'great divide' of the Southern Alps, the Mount Aspiring National Park presents a breathtaking range of landscapes.

At its heart is a massive area of wilderness - glaciers, snowfields, mountains, valleys and wildlife habitats that require days of hiking to reach. To the west of the divide, where rainfall is plentiful, the beech forest comes with a sound track of birdsong and waterfalls. Deep in the glacier-gouged valleys of the east, grassy river flats are hemmed by imposing mountains. And above the tree line, subalpine gardens of tussock, lichens and dainty flowering herbs survive against all odds.

Rock forms are an unforgettable feature of the park. From the curiously coloured slopes of the Red Hills to the brittle grey schist of the alps, ice ages and huge tectonic upheavals have created beauty with a hard edge.