A unique philosophy to hiking in New Zealand - Wild Walks by Aspiring Guides
The wild and remote nature of New Zealand's landscape and weather means that for most people, backcountry travel is limited to a few well established walking trails. While these popular tracks are often called "The Great Walks" they are not the best walks - just the popular ones!
Take the road less travelled. We guide only small groups (max 5) on our New Zealand hiking adventures. Let us take you on a truly "Wild Walk" - where no one else can. From seriously tough multi day alpine treks to easier family orientated family hiking and camping, we provide a true wilderness experience.
Aspiring Guides is professional mountain guiding company. We have been offering guided climbing, skiing and hiking adventures in the South Island of NZ since 1990. We are not just tour operators and our Wild Walks hiking trips operate the wildest backcountry New Zealand has to offer.
Based out of Wanaka and Queenstown, our Wild Walks explore the lesser travelled corners of the Mt Aspiring National Park and the South West World Heritage Area - where the scenery is always spectacular, and the challenges many.
Come and join us for a Wild Walk in the unique NZ wilderness - join a scheduled trek or book a private trip now!
Wild Walks Summer
Wild Walks Snow & Ice
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8 day Gillespie-Rabbit Pass Traverse : "Neil was relaxed, capable and ensured we all enjoyed the beauty of our surroundings. He was a wealth of knowledge and considerate and professional with a friendly manner. Jess was professional and definitely knew what she was doing and had everything all sorted and organised. So between the two it was a good balance. The entire trip was enjoyable with incredible beauty around every corner. A collection of great photos and lasting memories that ensure we can't wait to return."
4 day Upper Wilkin Wild Walk "The flight and jet-boat were the “wow” factors. The fully catered aspect was also appealing as it reduced the load to be carried in and out. And the fact that the walks were based from the same hut, and the day-trips could be tailored to meet the fitness levels gave us the confidence that it would be a good trip. Favourite part of the trip ? That’s tough… there were great aspects to each day: the flight, scenery, seeing the kids enjoying themselves, the lakes, the forest, and the jet boat ride was a fitting end to an excellent adventure."
Aspiring Discovery 3-day: "We’ve always enjoyed Wanaka and the surrounding area, so it was the opportunity to do a walk in the area with an experienced guide, and also being able to hire backpacks etc rather than having to carry camping gear with us to NZ. Tim was always very professional, friendly and easy going. He was very patient and when he realised we were going to take longer than expected he adjusted breaks/lunch to fit in with our pace and the time it took us to get to the camp. It was great to have the flexibility of having your own guide and being able to go at your own pace without worrying about slowing down the rest of a group."
"We were after a memorable adventure, and we sure got it. It was the two of us with an experienced guide, Tony. We trekked along the valley, crossed freezing rivers barefoot, battled gravity 1,000m with our packs up very steep NZ mountains, stayed in a mountaineering hut amongst the mountains. And that was Day 1. Day 2 involved crampons, ice axes and ropes. We came very close to crevices, but stayed away. Another 900m straight up, before descending down to the hut. For anyone in need of a serious challenge, a memorable experience and a heap of fun - try this one. The company is very experienced, the guides good and the pricing reasonable given the low ratio of clients per guide.”
Gillespie Pass 4-day: “Although it was difficult steep route- the end result and amazing view made it all worth it. We were able to relax while enjoying the beautiful views of the natural scenery . A very relaxing, stress free trip. George ensured river crossings were safe before we attempted them and the regular weather updates also ensured that we didn't end up in a dangerous situation on Gillepsie Pass. Everything from food to accommodation was very well organised making it an enjoyable trip. ”
"Magnificent scenery of the Southern Alps. Spectacular views. Special thanks to Phil for a memorable 3 days - an excellent, experienced, competent guide. A trip you couldn't really succeed on your own unless very experienced. All staff very friendly and willing to answer any queries. Well organised."
It was very challenging but we chose to have a guide due to the difficulty of this route. Our day across the saddle was long and pretty arduous with thigh deep creek crossing at the end..!! But the view was spectacular and well worth it! Jess was thoroughly professional and focused on safety. She did a great job in getting us to the top. Thank you so much for your patience and guidance... I doubt we would have made it otherwise (and still be on speaking terms anyway). I would recommend this trip for friends who wanted a real challenge and had done the 'easy' walks already. Amazingly fulfilling experience for all of us! The girls are planning their next trip of course...
"It was such an incredible experience, I felt so proud to have made it over both passes and it has certainly boosted my enthusiasm to get out into the wilderness more regularly. Stunning scenery.
I've told so many friends about Aspiring Guides and specifically the walk we did."
I chose this Wild Walk because there are no huts, few people, and it's wild. I recommend it for the lovely scenery, and the walk is challenging. Tim is a superb guide. High quality walk. I liked it.
"Off the beaten track trips appeal to me. Loved the impressive views all the way along. Bivying out. Accessing an area that few people get to see. Being away from crowded tracks. Oh...and the tomato relish :0)))) I'm delighted to have had an enjoyable trip in and out of this hidden gem."
"We were very confident that Aspiring Guides would give us the small group experience we were looking for. I loved the Valley walking and the experience of the other people on the trip I also loved how beautiful the scenery was, just so unlike what we get in Australia. It was stunning. I was so impressed by Michael as our guide. He actually made the trip for me. While relatively young in years, his experience really shone and the way he dealt with people of differing ages and experiences was just so impressive. I learned a lot from him over the few days.My overall impression of Aspiring Guides from this particular trip was that it's a very professionally run organisation and you guys know what you're doing. It must get exhausting trying to make everyone's experience special and unique when you've done a trip so many times - but you guys do an excellent job of this and I felt very grateful. I survived and am looking forward to my next hike :)"
Gillespie Pass 2017 : "Often in Australia the news broadcast starts off with "a tourist was completely under-prepared for the conditions….', and either died or had to be rescued. I knew that I could trust Carla to keep me safe so that I could focus on just enjoying my trip. The Train2Trek program was a great asset for Jo especially (simply because she is unfortunate enough to be chained to a desk 8 hours a day). The training helped her with muscle strength, fitness and endurance. Carla made sure that the pace of the walk was suited to us both. I knew that crossing that mountain would be tough, and I loved it. Sitting up there on such a beautiful day for a few hours was just magnificent."
The impression given of the level of difficulty was very accurate. It was just right for me - sometimes demanding but not exhausting. The precautions on the potentially dangerous areas were absolutely great - I never felt at risk. George was very hands-off at other times but we were experienced walkers, so I think he judged it pretty well. I'd highly recommended this Wild Walk to anyone who's after a spectacular walk and fit enough to do it. The best tramp in NZ? Would do it again in a heartbeat. Superbly organised with the food and gear stashes.
"Jo challenged us with river walks but we never felt unsafe. She was very instructive and made sure we all understood what we were to do. She took very good care of us. I like a bit of a challenge and like pushing myself just a little more than I am comfortable. This was definitely achieved especially with the river walks. We saw beautiful scenery, got some very good exercise and spent some quality time with friends, both old and new.The walk up to the foot of Rabbit Pass was my favourite - there was a variety of terrain, a beautiful day, a nice long walk and a great lunch spot!"
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