Date: 20th March 2011
If it wasn’t the name that attracted me here, it was the promise of stunning views of a mountain top glacier and tens of waterfalls which stream from its melting ice.
About an hour’s drive outside Wanaka the Rob Roy Glacier is reached by a pretty breezy hour and a half walk through native Beech forest. The trail ends at the base of the glacier with truly stunning views of the ice which sits high on the mountain. Large waterfalls and many other small streams cascade down the hillside and the sound of rushing water echoes through the valley.
My first visit in February was on a dull, overcast and rainy day, which in my eyes was the most dramatic even though most of the glacier was shrouded in cloud. I made the journey again recently on a blue sky day and was amazed at how much of the mountain and its glacier I had missed the first time around.
The glacier viewpoint is a popular spot with hikers, a fact well known to the local Keas which often decend from the trees in small groups of five or six to harass people for food. They’re clever wee buggers too and will try and get into your backpack or jacket pockets if they can smell anything of their liking. The plus side means that they’ll happily pose for the odd photograph.