Walking this track is worth the hour and 45 minute drive outside of Wanaka. As you continue along Mt. Aspiring Rd, the pavement literally ends and a gravel road begins (side note: it helps if you’ve have a 4×4, rather than a 4 door sedan, my poor wheel alignment!!!). You’ll cross numerous fords, pass by sheer cliff faces, towering over you as you drive along side them, numerous waterfalls, and vast pastures of sheep and cattle; but even more sheep. As you continue, looking in awe at everything around you, you’ll begin to see the glacier peek its face from behind the mountain side, greeting you with its cold, inspiring views, and instilling a thrill of excitement (I know, I was giddy enough to get out of the car to take a selfie with us approaching the mountain), see below:
But I digress, you’ll continue along the road for a few more meters, then you reach the Raspberry Flat carpark; from here the walking tracks begin; the track itself takes about 2-3 hours return. 10 minutes walk from the car park, a swing bridge crosses the West Matukituki River. Continuing along the track, you’ll walk through beech forestry until you’ll reach some vegetation at the head of the valley, from here you can get some pretty amazing views. For those with a more adventurous spirit, you can follow a small unmarked trail down to the river that runs along the base of the cliff face. From there you can get a closer view of the glacier and incredible views of the valley, click through for a video.