Red Rock via Shotover Saddle, West Matukituki Valley, Wanaka area NZ
A lesser known day trip to Red Rock (1858m) in the West Matukituki Valley, with excellent views into Mt Aspiring National Park.
For some time I have contemplated doing the highly rated Cascade Saddle walk as a day trip from Raspberry Flats, but the length (~32km?) and reputed danger of descending the route has put me off a bit. I may still get to this classic walk, but in the summer of 2020 I settled instead for this lesser known but excellent day-walk through the West Matukituki Valley up to Shotover Saddle, and then on to Red Rock (1858m). You get spectacular views up and down the valley, of multiple peaks in Mt Aspiring National Park including Rob Roy and its glacier, and nearby Mt Tyndall. A great way to sample the spectacular Mt Aspiring Scenery on a day walk and without undue risk.
We walked just a few minutes beyond Red Rock for more views up towards Mt Tyndall – a worthy side trip. And we were joined by kea on the summit, which is always nice. Track notes at the end.
Red Rock via Shotover Saddle: The Scenery
It’s easy walking along the West Matukituki Valley on a vehicle track for 5km. The poled Shotover Saddle Route is signposted and climbs quite steeply through pasture at first, and then in the nature reserve. It’s then off track on tussock and tricky red scree to get to Red Rock. From there a short walk higher provides views of Mt Tyndall and an alpine basin.