Wanaka - Roys Peak


Roys Peak Track is a popular hiking trail located in the South Island of New Zealand, near the town of Wanaka. 

Difficulty: Moderate/hard

Time needed: 6 to 7 hours

Type of trail: Out and back

Location: Roys Peak Track is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Wanaka, in the Otago region of New Zealand's South Island. It is approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the town center of Wanaka.

Trail Length: This epic adventure spans approximately 11 kilometers (or 6.8 miles) one way, making it a total of 22 kilometers for a round trip. Get ready to earn those views!

Elevation Gain: Roys Peak isn't for the faint of heart. Starting at around 200 meters (656 feet) above sea level, you'll be putting in some serious effort to reach the summit at 1,578 meters (5,177 feet). But trust me, those panoramic views are worth every step!

Difficulty: Consider Roys Peak Track a moderately challenging hike. It's not for beginners, thanks to its steep inclines and exposed trail. Wear that sun hat, bring water, and be ready for a workout.

Scenic Views: Once you conquer the ascent, you'll be rewarded with jaw-dropping 360-degree vistas. The sparkling Lake Wanaka, the snow-capped Southern Alps, and the enchanting Matukituki Valley – it's a photographer's paradise, especially at sunrise or sunset.

Conservation: The trail is located in a conservation area, and it's essential for hikers to follow Leave No Trace principles. Visitors are encouraged to stay on the marked path, pack out all their rubbish, and be mindful of the fragile alpine environment.

Seasonal Access: The trail is usually open year-round, but it's most popular during the summer months (December to February) when the weather is milder. In winter, the track can be snow-covered and icy, making it much more challenging and potentially dangerous.

How to get to Roys Peak:

1) Travel to Wanaka by car: If you're already in New Zealand, you can rent a car and drive to Wanaka. It's about a 3-4 hour drive from Queenstown or Christchurch.

2) Travel to Roys Peak Track Trailhead:

Once you're in Wanaka, follow these steps to get to the Roys Peak Track trailhead:

From Wanaka town center, head east on Ardmore Street, which becomes Mount Aspiring Road.

Continue on Mount Aspiring Road for approximately 6 kilometers (about 3.7 miles).

Look for the Roys Peak Track car park, which is well signposted on the left side of the road. This is where your hike begins.

3) Hiking Roys Peak: Once you've reached the trailhead, you can start your hike up Roys Peak Track. Be sure to follow the marked trail, and remember to pack all the essentials mentioned earlier for a safe and enjoyable hike.

Access Restrictions: To protect newborn lambs and their mothers, some farmers may restrict access to certain areas of their land during lambing season. Roys Peak Track passes through private farmland, and it's important to respect any access restrictions or closures that landowners have put in place. These restrictions are primarily in place to prevent disturbances to the sheep and reduce stress during this critical time.

Weather Conditions: While the track is technically open year-round, weather conditions can vary significantly. In the winter months (June to August), the track can be covered in snow and ice, making it challenging and potentially hazardous. Snow and ice can create slippery and treacherous conditions, so it's not recommended for inexperienced hikers during this time.

Closures for Maintenance: Occasionally, tracks like Roys Peak may be temporarily closed for maintenance or improvement work. These closures are typically announced in advance, and it's a good idea to check with the local Department of Conservation (DOC) or the Wanaka i-SITE Visitor Information Center for any notifications about closures or track conditions.

To check for closure information and the status of Roys Peak Track, you can use the following resources:

  1. Department of Conservation (DOC) Website: 

    Website: Department of Conservation - Roys Peak Track

  2. Wanaka i-SITE Visitor Information Center: 

    Website: Wanaka i-SITE Visitor Information Center

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