Kerrin Forks, Wilkin Valley

Kerrin Forks, Wilkin Valley

There are a number of multi-day hiking and tramping options on either side of Haast Pass. The best known are the walks around the Young and Wilkin Valley. The Young can be accessed from the Blue Pools on the Young River Link Track. The Wilkin requires a crossing of the Makarora River near Makarora, which is only for experienced trampers, as are the multi-day options over Gillespie Pass and Rabbits Pass. However, a cheat’s option is to get a jetboat ride up the Wilkin River from Makarora to Kerrin Forks, with a drop-off on either side of the Wilkin River.

The ride up the River takes about 30 minutes. It has the usual jetboat thrills, including several modest rapids.

The south side of the Wilkin River is bounded by the Turret Peaks (1,700 metres to 1,900 metres) and the north side is dominated by Mount Broome (1954 metres) and Mount Turner (2,150 metres). High country farming is evident on the south side slopes, with beech forest on the north side slopes. There are also several waterfalls. Looking west, straight ahead along the River, the glaciated peak of Mount Pollux at 2,536 metres is visible.

6 images

From a south side drop off, it is a few hundred metres walk through tussock and native bracken (rauaruhe) to Kerrin Forks Hut. The hut is a perfect remote location for a picnic on a nice day or an overnight stay.

From there, you can walk from the hut along the Wilkin Valley Track as it takes a right angle south through beech forest along the edge of the Wilkin River. It is a long day to reach Top Forks Hut (seven to ten hours). However, walking along the track for one to two hours each way is enough to enjoy the beautiful untouched beech forest, mountains, and Wilkin River views in this part of Mount Aspiring National Park.

6 images


We're on Instagram

Follow Trip Ideas for more great content like this