Wills Valley Track
5 - 6 hr
Like most of the smaller valleys in this area, the Wills’ lower reaches are gorged, and then open out to flats further up.
This track is for experienced trampers and starts at the Gates of Haast Bridge. From State Highway 6 the track drops down under the Gates of Haast Bridge then traverses across a large slip before climbing back up into forest. Avoiding the sting of native nettle, follow the old bridle trail for about 10 minutes. At this point the track branches off to climb then sidle above the Wills Gorge’s west side until reaching a smaller slip. To keep on the track stay high on the slip to reach a steel ladder and climb the small rock bluff. Continue through the forest, cross several small slips, then descend to a large grassy river flat where the marked track ends.
The four-bunk Wills Hut is about 40 minutes from the start of the flat, on the right, on a small river terrace close to the bush edge.
There is an impressive narrow gorge an hour beyond the hut and well worth a visit. If you are going to the head of the valley you can easily by-pass the gorge by climbing up and sidling around to the east.
A climb up onto the Bealey Range, at 980 metres, starts directly opposite the hut. This is an interesting day trip that offers panoramic views. A three- to four-day tramp over Wilson Pass to the Hunter Valley is also possible.