Rating; Grade 2-3
Know before you go: An out and back, avoid after heavy rain as there are several river crossings. Best in summer when the river is warmer. This is a remote area so be self sufficient, carry spares and warm clothing.
Getting there: To get to the Glenroy Valley turn south in the centre of Murchison and head up the Matakitaki Valley. Continue until you cross the Matakitaki river on the Horse Terrace bridge then take the second turn left 30km from Murchison, clearly marked as the Glenroy Valley and "Access to NLNP". After 6.3km you will reach a woolshed where the road forks. This is probably a good place to park.
Pick your weather and this makes a great summer ride
On the bike head up the hill to the left through the deer fence gate, past the farm sheds, then the farm house. Stay on the true right of the river as long as you can until the 4wd track leads you to ford the river. It is wide but shallow, about knee deep when I crossed in August (and cold). The 4wd track continues through the bush on the true left for a while avoiding some small cliffs by the river and then dropping down on to the open river flats. You will get to the next river crossing soon.
Summer and winter views of the valley
Take care to choose a good spot to cross here as the river is fast moving and is deep in places. It may be better above where the vehicles cross. Once you are past this obstacle it is plain sailing, with a couple more easy river crossings. It is fun to ride along the animal tracks in the tricky places. There is always an option with only the occasional carry. The views up the valley are great and interesting views are revealed up the side valleys too as you meander along on the flats and through the bush.
The river crossings are no problem if the river is low. The hut makes a good destination
It takes about 3 hours up to the Mid Glenroy Hut (which is private). The journey downstream is quite a bit faster. This is a great trip on a sunny summer's day when a swim in the river would be inviting. About a 5-6 hour ride, DOC indicate that it is a grade 4 ride and point out that the route continues a further 8k above the hut.
The 4WD track winds across extensive river flats