John & Sandra Expedition to OZ,NZ, Fiji Thailand & Singapore travel blog








To all our male readers – if you are short of an idea for Valentines Day next year – bring your partner to Mt Aspiring National Park and take her for a 5 hour trek up a mountain for a view of a glacier……….. Not romantic? well maybe not Sandra’s original first choice, but it certainly turned out to be a magnificent and memorable day.

We had been recommended the Rob Roy Track by the owners of Te Wanaka Lodge – “if the weather is right – you must do it” We left Wanaka at around 9am for a 55km drive (over half on unsealed roads) up to the Raspberry Flat car park ( Who names these places?) . A warm up walk across fields along the Matukituki River (about 15 minutes) to a swing bridge 30m across the river rapids below.

From the bridge the track starts to climb up through the bush and forest (the track rises 330m in altitude altogether – to take us 770m above sea level). Soon, you can hear the running waters of the Rob Roy Stream and then views of the rushing mountain waters can be seen through the trees. At first the track is a bit of a scramble over rocks and tree routes, but soon becomes easier walking, albeit that you are still climbing quite steeply.

About an hour into the walk we got the first glimpse of the main purpose of this track (first recorded in 1908) - the Rob Roy Glacier – sparkling in the sun, blue skies behind the peaks and glistening waterfalls tumbling from the edge of the glacier as the front edge ice melts . Each tantalising glimpse drives you on up the track toward the top.

We met other hikers on the way –all happy to share tips and encouragement. One chap pointed us through the tress to a “great photo spot” (he seemed to be a camera enthusiast!) – he was not wrong – we got some great photo looking up towars the peaks and the mountain river below.

Eventually, we reached the top of the track . A reasonably flat area with a number of rocks to sit on, but what a magnificent spot for a picnic (as a number of hikers had . thought),being English we had even remembered to take a small flask of tea - it has to be the best place we have drunk a cuppa!.

For about an hour we just sat and looked up at around 20 waterfalls, the undulations of the alpine white glacier with edges of blue, the jagged peaks all around and the deep blue of the sky (OK, now tell me that this is not romantic?). The sound of the occasional bird the constant falling waters and even the odd breakaway of ice falling down the mountainside.

We set off back down the track just marvelling at what we had seen and stopping every few moments to look back whilst the glacier was sill in view. We arrived back at Raspberry Flats – a total round trip of about 12km , but with 10km either up hill or downhill ! .

Back at Te Wanaka Lodge, time for a quick spell in the hot tub before going out for a Valentines Dinner at Relishes Café- great food and atmosphere ( Sandra had the baked Monk Fish I had the Venison).

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