The Roy’s Peak hike has forever been on the top of my worldwide bucket-list. Once upon a time I saw that famous viewpoint in an Instagram feed full of travel inspiration and it stuck – and since then it’s always been my favourite, my number one thing I want to do and see.
- 5-6hour return
- 11km distance
- Good level of fitness required
- Gradient: steep
- Change in elevation: 1,228m
- The track starts at the Roy’s Peak Track carpark, 6km from the Wanaka township
- The track passes through privately owned land
- The trail is closed between 1 Oct and 10 Nov for lambing.
- There is one hole-in-the-ground toilet at the carpark
- There are few flat or downhill sections
- Some steeper “short cuts” have been made throughout the track
- Recommended to take plenty of water and a packed lunch
With uni holidays slowly creeping up I knew that I wanted to plan a trip, and yes I’d been to New Zealand last year, to a level of almost being able to claim that I’ve “seen it all”, but I was set on going back. And I knew that if I was going, this time I would make sure I had time for Roy’s Peak. No matter how out of the way it would be, (as a license-less traveller) I would do it. Queenstown was first, then Wanaka for the hike of my life (so far), and then up to Christchurch to stay with friends and jump in for a sprint at Ashley Forest Rallysprint 2017.
I pushed myself particularly hard for this hike. The day I had set aside for it ended up forecasted as cloudy, so after a morning coach ride from Queenstown and a quick bag-drop at the YHA I started straight away at about 10:30am – a day earlier than planned. As I was car-less, and didn’t want to spend anymore time than necessary trying to hire a bike, I walked about an hour down the freeway to get to the carpark – the starting point.
I’d read that this was a fairly challenging hike, with little to no views for most of the walk. I found the challenging part of this to be true, but as I’d picked a good day weather wise there were endless views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding alps.
The trip took me a lot longer than I expected. But I had the added journey to and from the town, and the surprisingly long wait for photo ops at the top. It was almost sunset, and I wish I’d been a bit more selfish with my time when it came to photos – but I still felt completely at awe by the experience. Sure I complained the entire way up to my very patient friends, and I ran all the way down (with a couple falls) to beat the sunset, but it was worth all the sweat and bruises.
I’ll let these photos show you…