Glacier track hike hailed a ‘must-do’

The Rob Roy Glacier seen from the lower lookout on the Rob Roy Glacier track in October. The...
The Rob Roy Glacier seen from the lower lookout on the Rob Roy Glacier track in October. The track has been included in the Automobile Association’s updated list of the 101 must-see sights for New Zealanders. Photo: Tim Miller.
A half-day hike near Wanaka which has been described as one of the best in New Zealand has been given a publicity boost after it was included in a list of the top sights in the country.

The Rob Roy Glacier track in the west Matukituki valley area of the Mt Aspiring National Park has been included in the Automobile Association’s updated 101 Must-Do’s for Kiwis.

About 30,000 hikers walked the track each year and the Department of Conservation, which maintains the track, would be keeping a close eye on how it coped after the publicity, Doc Wanaka spokeswoman Annette Grieve said.

Staff had been unaware the track had made the AA’s list until it was announced last month, she said.

While Doc was not concerned about an influx of hikers stretching the existing facilities on the track, some checks would be needed to see how it was coping. There were unlikely to be any issues in the short term as there were already enough toilet and other facilities to cope with a reasonable number of hikers, she said.

It was hard to predict what impact publicity could have on certain sites as the increase in popularity of the Roys Peak Track near Wanaka and the issues which came with it showed.

"We just need to be watchful of those places we maintain and do as much as we can to ensure that they are kept the way they are now."

AA communication manager Liam Baldwin said the new list was compiled by three editors who used the same criteria that was used in the original list voted on by the public 10 years ago.

"What we were looking for was those inspiring places  that were slightly off the beaten track but were accessible to most people right now."

Since the list first came out, it had changed from being one of "must-see" attractions to  a collection of information travellers could use when they were on holiday, Mr Baldwin said.

Other "must-do’s" in Otago included travelling on TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu and eating a cheese roll in Dunedin.

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