Rob Roy Glacier

January 4th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

This half day walk must rank of one of the most spectacular in New Zealand. I can not recommend it highly enough.

Even the drive to the starting point is superbly scenic. You drive for around an hour from into the Matukituki Valley. Most of the 54 km road is unsealed and you cross around half a dozen fords, but they can be done without a 4WD. The drive through the valley is beautiful, with scores of waterfalls.

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You park at Raspberry Flat and head off along the West Matukituki River.

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You walk through farmland for around 15 minutes.

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Then you have the swing bridge over the West Matukituki River. It is rather bouncy!

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There is a fairly steep ascent, and then you get a nice view of the Matukituki Valley as you fork off it. Those who are doing overnight tramps continue up the valley.

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A lovely backdrop at the rest bench, where Earnest Girl and I take a break.

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You then head along next to the Rob Roy Stream, and again reasonably steep climb in places, but not too bad. You ascend around 400 metres in total. As you can see, a few challenges along the way.

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If that rock came down, you’d need DNA to identify you!

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They may call it a stream, but it is pretty strong as the glacier water flows down it. You spend most of your time next to the stream.

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Almost at the top, this is the view of where you have come from.

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Then you see the bottom of the Rob Roy Glacier. You end up less than 100 metres from it, and the ice is 15 metres or so thick I would say. Despite being so high up, it wasn’t too cold – even in t-shirt and shorts.

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One of the waterfalls at the top.

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The end of the track, with some information on the glacier.

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One of the Keas that hangs around there.

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Our group about to start the champagne lunch to celebrate making it up there.

Rob Roy Glacier


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Above is the map of the trail. It is 10 kms in total, and up took around 90 minutes and down around 75 minutes. Again, it is a stunning walk, and must be one of the best in NZ. We all had a great time.

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4 Responses to “Rob Roy Glacier”

  1. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    DPF,

    Great scenery and quite a hike – the champagne would have been well deserved!

    I know “Earnest Girl.” Say hello from me and Linds.

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  2. Ernest girls father (1 comment) says:

    Great trip. Looking at the glacier is like being in a giant open air theatre. Share champagne with the Keas?

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  3. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    We’ve done this walk in summer, autumn and winter. Friends tell us it’s even better in spring when the thaw starts, but any time of year it’s wonderful.

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  4. Longknives (4,691 comments) says:

    Nice scenery- I miss the South Island…

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