Saying Hello to Rob Roy

Probably the most popular walk in the Wanaka region is to see the Rob Roy Glacier. The track has got it all – Glaciers, Mountains, Waterfalls, Rivers, Trees and Kea (didn’t see them myself though). What’s not to like?

So I found myself on a sunny March day heading towards the Raspberry Flats car park. The hike for the Rob Roy Glacier is considered a fairly full day – partly because it takes a full hour just to get to the car park, a good part of which is spent on a rough dirt road. The hike itself takes about 3-4 hours return and isn’t too strenuous.

I lucked out with a near perfect hiking day when I started my hike, into the Mt. Aspiring National Park.

As usual, the bright blue glacier rivers were mesmerizing to see.

The hike itself isn’t the most spectacular for the most part, you are in forest for the vast majority. Until you start getting glimpses of your destination, you have to wonder if all this time and effort is going to be worth it…

When you glimpse this waterfall, you know you are near…and going to be in for a treat.

Eventually, the Rob Roy Glacier comes into view…and it is awe-inspiring.

I’ve seen a ton of great scenery in New Zealand, and this STILL ranks way up there. At the end of your hike, you come out above the treeline and are standing between two mountains. You can see the other mountain rearing up behind the trees, and the 30 or so other people that were up here as well (one of the negatives of the track – it is VERY popular, despite being hard to get to).

But what you are here for is Mt Rob Roy, and the associated hanging glacier. It’s worth putting up with the crowds for these kinds of views while you eat your (late) lunch though. That was one negative – I should have gone earlier. The sun was already drifting downwards, making pictures a bit harder. But I almost think it gives this shot a very strange and unintentional tilt-shift effect.

There were numerous waterfalls cascading down from the hanging Rob Roy glacier far above. Truly an immense and splendid place to be.

On my walk back out the few clouds that had lingered earlier had disappeared, giving beautiful views of the glacially carved valleys.

Definitely a great way to spend a day near Wanaka. It really is hard to get tired of this kind of stellar scenery!

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