Rob Roy Glacier Track

Rob Roy Glacier Track

Back in Queenstown but avoiding the town center because of the horrendous traffic. Instead, we drove back to Mt. Aspiring National Park for a hike. It’s a 2-hr drive from Queenstown, but a word of caution – the pavement abruptly ends and the last 25 miles or so is gravel road with 9 fords, so a high clearance vehicle is a must, although we saw several regular (beat up) sedans in the parking lot. Do not go after and on a rainy day, as you will either not be able to make it in, or get stranded at the trailhead waiting for the water to recede.

We’ve been lucky to visit New Zealand on the off season, as all the trails we’ve been on have been sparsely traveled. So lots of solitude.

Some cattle and sheep kept us company for the first half mile of the trail that runs along private property.
The size of these things. Luckily they’re docile.
A reminder that I need to cut down on my meat consumption.
This sign has distances! A 6-mile round trip.
A hike in New Zealand would not be a proper hike without a swing bridge.
View of the glacier from the lower viewpoint. This is already much closer to the glacier than the Robert’s Point is to the Franz Josef glacier.
Don’t hike this between June and November.
Clear glacial waters
Bridal Veil Fall looks more like a trickle.
As we got closer to the glaciers, we started to hear what sounded like thunder in the distance. In fact it was ice chunks cracking and crashing against the rocks (seen on right side of video).
What you see is not a waterfall. It is an “ice chunks” fall that lasted for a good 2 and a half minutes.
View of the glaciers from the upper viewpoint.

For anyone who wants to get a close up of glaciers, I recommend this trail over the trails at the Franz Josef area. This trail is also much easier. The only tricky part is the drive to the trailhead.

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