Rob Roy Glacier Trail

Mount Aspiring National Park


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Rob Roy Glacier Trail


  • No hike in the New Zealand lowlands is complete without flocks of sheep!- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • Wide-open grasslands in Mount Aspiring National Park.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • The Rob Roy Glacier Trail viewed from a little ways past the parking area.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • The suspension bridge over the West Matukituki River.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • The trail on the north side of the West Matukituki River.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • The West Matukituki River viewed from the Rob Roy Glacier Trail.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • Following the Rob Roy Glacier Trail.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • Trailside views along the Rob Roy Glacier Trail.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • Views on the way to Rob Roy Glacier.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • A waterfall viewed from the trail.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • A slip in the forest provides great views of waterfalls above the trail.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • A glacial tributary to the West Matukituki River. Part of the Rob Roy Glacier can be seen in the distant background.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • Spectacular views from the trail.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
  • The view at the end of the trail.- Rob Roy Glacier Trail
Overview + Weather
Exceptional views. Brilliant wildflowers and forest wildlife. Large glaciers.
Rough road to the trailhead. Relatively crowded.
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,295.93 ft (395.00 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
6.21 mi (10.00 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,213.91 ft (370.00 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


The hike to Rob Roy Glacier is one of the most popular day hikes in Mount Aspiring National Park and one of the closest hikes to the resort town of Wanaka. At 10 kilometers round trip and about 400 meters in elevation gain, it's a great option for families wanting to explore Mount Aspiring National Park for a half day.

While the road to the trailhead of Rob Roy Glacier is well traveled, it is in pretty rough shape in places. Many stream crossings and bumpy conditions can make the drive a nightmare for cars that don't have a high clearance. The drive itself is spectacular, with awesome landscapes of the tall mountains surrounding the Matukituki Valley, which the road follows. The trail, for about the first 2 kilometers, has landscapes and grassy mountains that any fan of The Lord of the Rings will recognize as the location in which many scenes were filmed.

After leaving the grasslands, the trail enters thick forest for most of the remainder of the trail. A few viewpoints exist, and several landslides also allow hikers to take in the glaciated mountains of Mount Aspiring National Park. The trail ends in a meadowland completely surrounded by towering mountains with glaciers and waterfalls on three sides. 

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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