Roberts Point Track
Roberts Point Track starts from the Douglas Bridge and is one of the most interesting and challenging tracks in the Glacier Country, Westland. It takes about five hours in total and follows the east side of the Waihi Valley to Roberts Point. From the point, there are outstanding views of the valley and Franz Josef Glacier / Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere.
From the historic 140 metre long swing bridge, the track initially follows the line of the Waiho River through forest for about one km, then rises to a second shorter swing bridge. This is followed by a relatively short (but steep) 100 metre climb to Arch Creek where there is one of the most spectacular swing bridges in NZ! The track gets rougher after this, including some ice-ground rocky slabs. But it is a generally more gradual climb to historic Hendes Hut where the terrain opens up with views across the valley.
The track continues on through more open scrub with one section along a unique set of hanging stairs to negotiate a cliff face. It is not as scary as it sounds! Then there is a fourth suspension bridge crossing Rope Creek and a final steep scramble up rocks and roots, followed by a relatively flatter section to Roberts Point. The point is 300 metres above the valley floor and the views include the Glacier, rock cliff faces, waterfalls and mountain peaks. As good as it gets!
Start from the Alex Knob Track car park and take the Douglas Walk for a few minutes to the Douglas Bridge. Or start from the main car park at the end of the access road and follow the Douglas Walk past Peters Pool to the bridge, This adds 20 minutes to the hike. The total return distance from the Alex Knob car park is 11 km and the total vertical climb is 300 metres.Thanks to Georgia (@the_cornishpixie) and Jan Rozen for the photos.