Roberts Point Track

Alert/Important notice

Track closed

Roberts Point Track is closed due to severe flood damage, including major structure damage. The track is not expected to reopen until the end of February 2015 at the earliest. Please check at the Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre and i-SITE for an update closer to your visit.

Track category

Tramping track

Time:  

5 hr return from Alex Knob/Lake Wombat car park; 5 hr 20 min return from glacier car park

Distance:  

11 km return from Alex Knob/Lake Wombat car park; 12.3 km return from glacier car park

Description

  • This track does not provide access onto the glacier.  
  • Fording the streams on this track can be dangerous during and after rain – be careful, and turn back if you are unsure.
  • The track requires a good level of fitness and it is slippery in places. Good boots are essential.
  • Stay on the marked track - do not attempt to climb down to the main river from any point on the track.
  • Never attempt to cross the Waiho River.

Starting from the Douglas Bridge, Roberts Point Track winds up the true right of the Waiho (Franz Josef Glacier) Valley, over ice-carved rock and across many side streams to a viewpoint high above the glacial ice. In around an hour the track opens out onto ice smoothed rock outcrops at Hende's Hut. This hut is unsuitable for overnight accommodation, but it does provide a sheltered lunch spot. 

View from Roberts Point.  Photo: Russell Squire.
View from Roberts Point

Hende was also responsible for the construction of Hende's Gallery adjacent to the hut. The structure, which was built in 1907, hangs off wrought iron bars driven into sheer rock walls, and was restored by the Department in 1996. Find out about Hende's Historic Hut.

The track climbs on through open scrubland to a suspension bridge crossing Rope Creek and continues steadily upwards to Roberts Point. The views from here are well worth the effort with the glacier, sheer rock walls, waterfalls and mountain peaks all visible.

Getting there

There are two ways to access the Roberts Point Track. You can drive or walk south from the Franz Josef Waiau township across the Waiho River bridge and turn left onto the Glacier Access Road or Te Ara a Waiau. Drive or walk for approximately 2 km (Alex Knob/Lake Wombat car park) or 4 km (road end car park).

Places to stay


There are a number of accommodation options in Franz Josef Waiau.

Plan and prepare

  • Check the current track conditions and weather forecasts at the Westland Tai Poutini  National Park Visitor Centre and i-SITE before starting your trip.
  • Always take warm and waterproof clothing as the weather can change rapidly. 
  • Carry drinking water, insect repellent and sun protection at all times.
  • Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

  • Dogs are not permitted on this track.

Important safety information

  • This track does not provide access onto the glacier.  
  • Fording the streams on this track can be dangerous during and after rain – be careful, and turn back if you are unsure.
  • The track requires a good level of fitness and it is slippery in places. Good boots are essential.
  • Stay on the marked track - do not attempt to climb down to the main river from any point on the track.
  • Never attempt to cross the Waiho River.

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Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
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Contacts

Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Address:   13 State Highway 6
Franz Josef Glacier 7856
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
Franz Josef Glacier Base
Phone:      +64 3 752 0796
Email:   westlandnpvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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