Rob Roy Glacier Track

The Roy Roy Glacier track is located in the Matukituki Valley area of Wanaka, and within the Mount Aspiring National Park in Otago.

The DOC’s description “This track offers an easy route (achievable by older children) into a dramatic alpine landscape that includes snowfields, glaciers, sheer rock cliff and waterfalls”

About the Track

Distance: 10km

Duration: 3-4 hour return

Classification: Easy – Walking Track

Seasonal Restrictions: Avalanche Risk exists on the track May – November and access is restricted to the lower lookout.

How to get to the Rob Roy Glacier Track

You begin the track in the Raspberry Flat Car Park, around 1 hour from town, reaching the car park involves a lengthy gravel path and crossing fords! There are a few different get there from Wanaka:

  1. Hitchhike! You can take your chances and stick your thumb out on the Main Street near the iSite in hope someone in a 4×4 has space and will take you! Some people drive regular cars but park further away in other spots that do not involve crossing the water!
  2. Take a shuttle, you are able to arrange a shuttle, again in the iSite in Wanaka, it costs $65 return, and would need to be scheduled in advance.
  3. Hire a 4×4 and drive yourself up to the car park at your own leisure, the cost from Adventure Rental Cars Wanaka – who we used was $85 plus we took out windscreen excess cover $20 and fuel $50, we split this between 5 of us and it was $31 each – half the price of the shuttle (this also included our trip to the blue pools which is two hours from rob Roy Glacier).
  4. Hire a car with adventure rental cars Wanaka and park before the raspberry Flat car park, extending your hike. Cars cost approx $55.

It’s very easy to find the car park from the town, you drive with the lake on your right and continue! There is toilet facilities at the car park and also drinking water.

The Hike

Once you pass the point cars cannot, you cross a small bridge and walk alongside the beautiful glacier fed west matukituki river, carry on for around 15 minutes until you reach the swing bridge.

From here there is an uphill walk through a forested area, and then a slightly steeper section of uphill, this flattens out and then you walk alongside the rob rob stream until you reach the first view point! We stopped here to have lunch and had our first glimpse of the waterfalls, the Glacier and snow capped mount aspiring!

We then continued up, and past a dangerous overhanging rock where the signage asks you not to stop on this section of the track.

There is a little more incline, and then you reach the second and very impressive view point, it was stunning!

The hike is a return track, so after some serious admiring, we turned around and started our descent down to the car park!

The hike wasn’t too tough at all, and we saw a real mix of people on the hike, from tour groups, to toddlers and elderly! Some people ran up and others took it more slowly! I’d highly recommend this hike – it’s so beautiful! And I thought a much better view of a Glacier than the walk to the Franz Josef Glacier, their you are stuck quite far away and the Glacier has receded so much, I thought the rob Roy Glacier track was a better alternative to the Franz Josef one.

You can complete this in a morning or afternoon, and if you are stuck for time or have hired a car and want to make the most of it, you will easily have time to head to another part of Wanaka. We drove around to the blue pools and I’m so glad we did!

The Blue Pools, Wanaka

The drive around from the raspberry flat car park to the blue pools took around two hours, we stopped off in town as half our party had forgotten swimwear! We also stopped for Nutella muffins in new world!

The from the car park down to the blue pools is very short, it will take you only 15 minutes! You will cross two swing bridges, and the second one hangs over the famous crystal clear blue pools. We all swam in the water, it was pretty cold, but super refreshing after our hike.

Definitely check it out, there are some great photo opportunities of lake Wanaka on the way back into town too.

Top Tip – avoid dawn and dusk to visit the pools as this is when the sand flies are particularly aggressive!

Love B x

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