How to get to Liverpool Hut (We covered the BEST ways!)

How to get to Liverpool Hut (We covered the BEST ways!)

Liverpool Hut is the elusive gem of Mount Aspiring National Park. A lot of people seem to take wrong turns when trying to get to it, which is why we’ll go over how to do it properly today! 

The two main ways to get to Liverpool Hut are by plane and by car. You can take a plane and drive to the hut or skip the plane and drive the whole way to Liverpool Hut (which may involve a ferry ride, depending on where you’re coming from). 

Armed with the lessons from our own misadventures on the way to the hut, we’ve crafted an easy step-by-step guide to help ensure your journey to Liverpool Hut is nothing short of triumphant. 

How to get to Liverpool Hut by plane

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of steps$6
Time to get to Liverpool HutAnywhere from 10 to 12 hours (varies depending on your starting point)
Things you need• A valid plane ticket to Queenstown

• Transportation to Raspberry Creek Car Park from Queenstown Airport

• Sturdy hiking shoes and hiking gear

  1. Determine which major city in New Zealand you’ll be flying from. (We flew from Auckland!)  
Determine which major city in New Zealand you'll be flying from

We used Skyscanner this time to get an idea of prices for round trip flights. Remember, flight durations and costs will vary depending on your starting point. 

  1. Book your flight to Queenstown. Liverpool Hut is near Wanaka, and the closest airport is Queenstown Airport (ZQN). 

We suggest booking your flights well in advance to secure the best prices.

Below are some general fare estimates for a few major cities in New Zealand:

  • From Auckland (AKL):

Direct flight duration: Approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes

Estimated fare: 100 to 370 NZD

  • From Wellington (WLG):

Direct flight duration: Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes

Estimated fare: 100 to 300 NZD

  • From Christchurch (CHC):

Direct flight duration: Approximately 1 hour

Estimated fare: 50 to 200 NZD

Popular airlines servicing these routes include Air New Zealand and Jetstar. (This time, we used Jetstar!) 

Book your flight to Queenstown
  1. Take your flight to Queenstown! We recommend taking a short nap during the short flight to refresh your energy before driving to Raspberry Creek Car Park. 
  1. Arrive at Queenstown Airport. Upon arriving at Queenstown Airport, collect your luggage and proceed to the rental car or shuttle service area if you have pre-booked transportation. 
  1. Drive to Raspberry Creek Car Park. This is the starting point for the hike to Liverpool Hut.
  1. Hike to Liverpool Hut From Raspberry Creek Car Park. It’s a 6-8 hour hike to Liverpool Hut. 

The trail begins with a walk through the West Matukituki Valley before ascending steeply to the hut. If you’re a beginner, we suggest you bring an experienced hiker along, as the trail is challenging.

How to get to Liverpool Hut by car

DifficultyHard ●●●●○
Number of steps$4
Time to get to Liverpool HutVaries depending on your starting point
Things you need• A working car

• Valid driver’s license

• Full tank of gas

• Sturdy hiking shoes and hiking gear

  1. Determine which major city in New Zealand you’ll start your journey from. Keep in mind that the driving distance and time will vary depending on your starting point.
  1. Prepare your car before setting off. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and equipped with all necessary supplies, such as spare tires, tools, and an emergency first aid kit. 

Additionally, make sure you have a valid driver’s license, up-to-date registration, and insurance.

  1. Start driving! So, now that you’ve got your GPS set up and ready to go, you can begin driving towards Liverpool Hut. 

Here are some general driving directions for a few major cities in New Zealand.  

From Auckland (23 hrs 25 min):

  • Get on SH 1 in Grafton
  • Follow SH 1 to Horahora Rd in Piarere. 
  • Follow Old Taupo Rd, State Hwy 32 and State Hwy 41 to Volcanic Loop Hwy/SH 1 in Tūrangi. 
  • Follow SH 1 to Moorefield Rd in Johnsonville, Wellington. Take the exit toward Johnsonville/Khandallah from SH 1.
  • Continue on Moorefield Rd. Take Burma Rd, Cashmere Ave, Onslow Rd and Great Harbour Way / Te Aranui o Pōneke/Hutt Rd to Wellington – Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry). 
  • Take the Wellington – Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry.)
  • Follow Lagoon Rd and Kent St to SH 1 in Picton.
  • Follow SH 1, State Hwy 79 and State Hwy 8 to State Hwy 84 in Wānaka.
  • Follow Wanaka Mount Aspiring Rd to Raspberry Creek Carpark. 

From Wellington (15 hours 38 minutes):

  • Take Jervois Quay, Waterloo Quay and Aotea Quay to Wellington – Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry).
  • Take the Wellington – Picton (Interislander Cook Strait Ferry).
  • Follow Lagoon Rd and Kent St to SH 1 in Picton.
  • Follow SH 1 to State Hwy 79 in Rangitata.
  • Follow State Hwy 79 to Mount Cook Rd/State Hwy 8 in Fairlie.
  • Continue on State Hwy 8 to Wānaka.
  • Follow Wanaka Mount Aspiring Rd to Raspberry Creek Carpark. 

From Christchurch (7 hours):

  • Take Durham St S to State Hwy 76 in Sydenham.
  • Take SH 1 to State Hwy 79 in Rangitata.
  • Follow State Hwy 79 to Mount Cook Rd/State Hwy 8 in Fairlie.
  • Continue on State Hwy 8 to Wānaka.
  • Follow Wanaka Mount Aspiring Rd until you reach Raspberry Creek Carpark. 

From Queenstown (3 hours):

  • Take State Hwy 6, Crown Range Rd and Cardrona Valley Rd to Wanaka Mount Aspiring Rd in Wānaka. 
  • Follow Wanaka Mount Aspiring Rd until you reach Raspberry Creek Carpark. 
  1. Hike to Liverpool Hut from Raspberry Creek Carpark. From Raspberry Creek Carpark, follow the well-marked trail through the West Matukituki Valley. 

You’ll cross several swing bridges and walk alongside the picturesque Matukituki River. This relatively flat section of the hike is roughly 9 km and should take about 2-3 hours to complete.

After the West Matukituki Valley section, you’ll arrive at Aspiring Hut. (We always stop here for a short break, use the restroom, and refuel before continuing to Liverpool Hut.) 

Upon passing Aspiring Hut, you’ll continue along the same trail you were on before. It leads across Pearl Flat, a beautiful open meadow with views of the surrounding mountains. 

After crossing Pearl Flat, you’ll reach the base of the steep track leading up to Liverpool Hut. The track climbs approximately 400 meters in elevation over 1 km. 

After completing the steep ascent, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of Liverpool Hut, perched on a small plateau with breathtaking views of Mount Aspiring!