After rain when the Matakitaki is flowing high the Glenroy is a refreshing cure for the big water fatigue that sets in after too much of the Buller. It’s a good run for paddlers pushing into the class IV domain with a nice warm up over the first half kilometre or so before the gorges. Three words best describe this run: short, but sweet.
The first bit is open river bed, class II-III. The river enters a beautiful little gorge with a few class III rapids before the first of the two class IV drops. Both drops are worth scouting to check for timber. I was instructing a group on the hazards of ‘tree runs’ during the summer of 1999. I pointed out a large log just under the surface at the bottom of one of the easy entrance rapids. I positioned myself next to it and waved the team down. With magnet like attraction the first person went sideways on the log, then upside down, then underneath it-stuck. The hapless paddler finally got out but the boat stayed there. Remember this story and be warned that the Glenroy traps a lot of timber! The second drop is the harder of the two. Both are easily portaged if need be.
To get to the take out: drive up the Matakitaki Valley from Murchison about 30km to a road junction signposted: Glenroy Valley, no exit, NLNP Entrance and Maruia Saddle. Follow the Maruia Saddle sign for 1.3km to the bridge crossing the Glenroy River. The take out is on river right immediately under the bridge. To get to the put in: return to the road junction and head up the Glenroy Valley for 1.9km. Park off the road and head to the river.