Featured Activities

I don’t know about you, but I love a good adventure. I crave weekends like this and love getting stuck into backcountry missions, especially to new places. I had heard about Siberia Valley once, from a friend who used to work with a tour company that guided tours through there.

Known as the timeless land, Makarora is a special place. A place where time has truly stood still, but adventures continue to beckon. I once saw some photographs online of Lake Crucible and just put the adventure in the ‘too hard’ basket. Silly, silly me, this place is easily accessible and I am going to tell you five good, solid reasons why you should book an adventure into the Siberia Valley.

To get off the grid

No signal, no phone, no people, no nothing. Just you, Mother N, and a whole lot of mountain goodness. Whether you opt for the overnight hike, Gillespie Pass or the daytrip fly/hike jetboat adventure we recently experienced, you are in for an absolute treat. Getting dropped in Siberia felt like getting dropped into a movie set, Jurassic Park-esque – if you will. Apart from the solo hikers we passed en route to the jetboat, there was literally nothing around for miles.

A woman looks out over SIberia Valley in Wanaka, New Zealand

To discover Mount Aspiring National Park

We are quick to rush to the more road-accessible National Parks, but I tell you something, Mount Aspiring stole a little piece of my heart and certainly got my attention just after one day of being there. Stretch your legs, get your adventure on, and feed your soul in this hiking paradise. Think towering mountains, native forests, birds, rivers, and beautiful vistas at every turn. It really is magical.


To immerse yourself in nature’s goodness

Named for one of New Zealand’s highest Peaks, Mount Aspiring National Park is a dreamland. Our short walk in the bush can be extended to overnight or a three-day tramp. There is plenty more adventures, accessible with the team at Wilkin River Jets. The heart of the national park holds glaciers, snowfields, mountains, and long, deep valleys. The native bush surrounds you and the call from native birdsong will walk you home. I am such a lover of Mother N’s creations and here she did good, real good.


To go off the beaten track

Just a handful of people and the odd fantail greeting you on the tree branches. In fact, we were pretty lucky and also got sight of a Tui on the flax during our hike. Who doesn’t love an off the beaten track adventure? I do! I also love talking about it letting everyone know that there are hidden valleys and landscapes that only a few have clapped eyes on, waiting to be discovered. There was a real sense of adventure and accomplishment after our time in Siberia and I can’t wait to return.


To support local

Thanks to legends Harvey and Patsy Hutton, who have a long family history in this area, starting way back with the early settlers and their commitment to delivering ecotourism products into a region that is so meaningful to them, we now have Wilkin River Jets. Operating since 1968, these guys are pioneers of shallow water jetboating wilderness exploration in New Zealand.


Their expert local knowledge, which we witnessed first-hand, and passion for the backcountry ensure people like you and me can enjoy this wilderness experience like no other. They have helicopters and jetboats all linking you to places that truly deserve our attention. Makarora and the adventures to be had into Mount Aspiring National Park are truly under the radar and I’m here to shout about them! Thank you to Wilkin River Jets and the team at Lake Wānaka Tourism for showcasing this slice of paradise to us. We are already planning our next escape into your paradise.