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There is no shortage of hikes and great walks in New Zealand. The entire country is simply an outdoor fantasy land.
While we were there we didn’t do any multiple days hikes, opting for day trips instead, but of the ones we did the Rob Roy Glacier hike was definitely my favorite.
I had already made up my mind that I loved it before we even stepped foot on the trail.
It was when we were still in the car, trudging along a dirt road for one hour out of Wanaka.
You see we were fortunate enough to drive through an animal safari on our way. A domesticated animal safari if you will. First came the stampeding and menacing look cows.
These guys looks fierce. You might think of cows as all friendly and nice when they’re in the distance chewing on some grass, but when those guys come right at your car in a straight line; you’re going to get a bit nervous.
We felt a real adrenaline rush as we planned our quick escape in case the cows decide to plow into the car. After the cows came the most adorable animals of all – freshly sheared sheep.
There seemed to be hundreds of them. At one point the entire car was surrounded by a sea of sheep. They were quickly scurrying about, prancing even, and dazzling us with their elegant coordinated leaps into the air. Magical, it was simply magical. Completely unexpected but an awesome start to the hike nonetheless.
After the sheep came another round of beastly looking cows. Real killers I tell you. We had a bit of a stare down with them. In the end, they slowly trudged along, eyes down in defeat. After the well warranted delay we could finally start the hike.
We walked along a narrow dirt path gazing at the yellow and purple flowers and the mountains in the distance before coming across a swing bridge. These shaky bridges always make me a bit nervous when crossing. I’m always paranoid I’m going to lose my balance and just tip right over the sides.
And I did have to risk all, to stop right in the middle of the bridge and snap a photo of the beautiful river below.
The hike continued on a winding path right on the edge of the slope with beautiful views.
After a while the path went into the beech forest, providing a much needed break from the sun. As usual in New Zealand there was an abundant variety of ferns to admire in the forest and small waterfalls and stream to hop right over. At the lower lookout we got our first glimpse of the still active glacier and Dave gave me a bouquet of wild flowers as a Valentine’s Day gift. This attracted a lot of attention from all the other couples.
I didn’t see anyone else with a bouquet like mine, and perhaps saw a few jealous looks.
The glacier itself is magnificent, almost glowing blue. The waterfalls along the jagged edges add to the picture perfectly.
We found a nice rock to lounge on while we ate our picnic lunch with the glaciers right in front of us, before heading back. I highly recommend going on this hike if you’re in the Wanaka region – this was my favorite day hike in New Zealand. From the animal safari to the beautiful views on the hike itself, I loved the Rob Roy glacier hike.
The Rob Roy Glacier Hike starts at the Raspberry Creek Car Park which is 1 hour away from Wanaka down a mostly dirt road. The hike takes around 3-4 hours and isn’t too strenuous, though there is a segment where you are mostly going uphill