The Matukituki River is a quiet jewel wending its way through the Matukituki Valley. Follow Mt Aspiring Road, passing Glendhu Bay on a delightful short drive into the New Zealand wilderness. The valley is home to several key Wanaka attractions, Treble Cone ski field, Rob Roy Glacier walk as well as guided tours of the high country and the Matukituki River. The Matukituki Valley and Rob Roy Glacier are part of Mt Aspiring National Park and the larger Te Wahipounamu World Heritage area.
Matukituki Valley highlights, Top sights
- Jet Boat operator River Journeys offers half day jet boating + walk into the land where the film Lord of Rings trilogy was shot
- Spectacular scenery from a braided glacier fed river, mountain beech forests, alpine tussock and glaciers
- Location for the unforgettable Rob Roy Glacier walk
- Ridgelinenz offer off the beaten track half day exploration of the high country in a sturdy 4WD
- Treble Cone ski field where off piste is encouraged
As you leave Wanaka you could be struck by the number of caravans leading in the same direction. The caravans and yourself are on the Wanaka Mount Aspiring Road.
Wanaka to Glendhu Bay distance
Within 14 km the cavalcade of caravans and campers will turn off into the large camping ground Glendhu Bay. A tent city springs up late December through to the end of January and the beginning of the school holidays.
The road passes the temptation of Rippon Winery and, for adventure seekers, the Glendhu Mountain Bike Park. Bike Glendhu has over 1000 hectares of the glorious high country to weave, jump and pump on curated trails. Hungry for a snack or light meal then Velo Cafe will be a welcome sight. Bike Glendhu has cleverly thought of parents with a childminding service on site.
Summer traffic rapidly drops off after Treble Cone Ski Field’s turnoff with farmland and the sight of Mount Aspiring National Park wilderness adding excitement to the journey.
Undoubtedly summer is the ideal time to hike the Rob Roy Glacier. (December – March). Winter is unforgiving in Mt Aspiring National Park with avalances and sharp drop in temperature creating weather hazards.
Glendhu Bay to Raspberry Flat car park
39 km distance : 1 ½ hours driving time.
The scenic treasure unfolds as you drive the no exit route to the Department of Conservation car park. Soaring peaks and the braided Matukituki River mean slowing down for an unsealed gravel road with creeks to navigate adds to the experience. The road follows the Matukituki braided river and ends (no exit) at the Raspberry Flat car park (west branch of the Matukituki River) and shelter with its information panels.
Rob Roy Glacier walk top sights
A day trek into the wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park through mountain beech forests, past creeks and onto high country tussock with the lower and upper lookouts offering views of Rob Roy Glacier and waterfalls descending from sheer cliffs.
- Start: Raspberry Creek Car Park, Mt Aspiring National Park
- Time: 4-5 hours return to the bush line / glacier viewpoint
- Distance: 10 km
- Grade: Well formed track, moderate – good fitness levels required due to the need to constantly climb upwards towards the lookouts and the steps.
Check out Unforgettable Rob Roy day walk for details such as getting there, the best time to go and walk suitability for families.
Check DOC resource for up to date information.
Check avalanche.net.nz if planning a trip in this area between May and November.
Check out Rob Roy Glacier Day Walk for details. And for a comparison between ROYS PEAK WALK AND ROB ROY GLACIER WALK check out Wanaka 11 walks for families and trampers. Both walks are located in the same district.
Mount Aspiring National Park Weather Forecast
It is essential walkers consult the local mountain weather forecast and unpredictable weather is a given.
The Department of Conservation manages the Tititea / Mt Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre in Wanaka. The address is 1 Ballantyne Road, Wanaka.
Skiers on Treble Cone ski field will catch glimpses of the Matukituki Valley.
In winter the gravel road to Rob Roy Glacier walk, fords several small creeks which in the spring melt can rise rapidly. Check road status before departing.
For more ideas what to do and places to visit in Wanaka check out Wanaka travel facts and remember to get a selfie near #thatwanakatree.
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