Rob Roy glacier. © Andrea Schaffer

Rob Roy Glacier Track: glaciers, waterfalls and thieving parrots

Raspberry Creek Car Park
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Mate. Mayyyyyyyyyyyte! The drive there, to the slightly preposterous-sounding Raspberry Creek Car Park, is almost as energy-sapping as the walk to the top of the glacier.

Sealed tarmac gives way to gravel gives way to rutted track then boom! Let’s ford that river. Ten times. (Well, five at least: depends how you count and where you start your numbering system from. But a six-lane motorway this is not.) If you’re in a two-door rental, you may want to reconsider. Some abandon their vehicles along the road and just kick the tramp off early. Your choice, cowboy. Just make sure you do get to this, one of the region’s most stunning walks.

This track takes you into Mount Aspiring National Park via dense beech forest, moss and ferns the carpet beneath your feet, if not quite the wind beneath your wings. That comes later. Be patient.

Waterfalls tinkle, birds sing, then just as you’re feeling a yodel coming on, you’re above that treeline and into the alpine.

The hanging glaciers beneath Mt Rob Roy will leave your jaw hanging; waterfalls scythe down the cliffs, great chunks of mountain seem to frame every view . . . and persistent kea will attempt to steal anything not nailed down.

The glaciers are still on the move and the distant ‘boom’ of an avalanche may unsettle young viewers. We advise discretion . . . nahh, it’s a popular track, for good reason: it’s negotiable, beautiful, ‘accessible and awesome’, as one veteran walker describes it. And timed to give you a good workout before you walk out. And attack those fords again.

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