Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
395.00 m (1,295.93 ft)
Trail type
10.00 km (6.21 mi)
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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. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Exceptional views. Brilliant wildflowers and forest wildlife. Large glaciers.


Rough road to the trailhead. Relatively crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

1,213.91 ft (370.00 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Geologically significant



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