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Hike the iconic Roys Peak in Wanaka, New Zealand

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Quick facts about Roys Peak hike in Wanaka, South island New Zealand

  • Time taken: 7 hours

  • How far: 16km return

  • Elevation: 1578m

  • Difficulty: Moderate. (Fairly flat with some steeper inclines) A good level of fitness required

  • Location: Wanaka, South Island New Zealand

  • Campsite with facilities close by: Glendhu Bay campsite or Top 10 Holiday Park

  • Be aware: This walk is sometimes closed is some months of the year for lamb shearing, usually Oct-Nov, be sure to check before

When we began to research hikes in the South Island of New Zealand, Roys Peak quickly became top of our ‘must-do’ hikes of the trip. If you are looking for inspiration in other parts of the South Island New Zealand, then check out our full Ultimate 3 week guide to South Island New Zealand in a campervan on a budget, which includes other hikes and activities during your visit.

Roys Peak Summit - View from the top of Roys Peak

Roys Peak is probably one of the most instagrammed walks in New Zealand, but for good reason. The panoramic views from the top of Roys Peak is candy for your eyes, a photographers dream, and an epic reward for all hikers. The breathtaking views can be seen for miles in all directions across Lake Wanaka and the surrounding rolling hills - totally worth the achy legs next day.

Where does the hike begin?

Roy’s Peak is about a 10 minute drive out from the centre of Wanaka. The car park is well sign posted and you can leave your camper/car right at the foot of the start which makes life easy for when you get back down. The parking lot is off Mount Aspiring road and is free and fills up quickly, and so would recommend getting there early!

What to expect?

The path is a well-trodden wide dirt track that leads all the way to the top. It starts off with a steep incline, which flattens out in the middle, but does then turn a little steeper as you near the top. Expect a constant incline all the way to the peak. It is worth noting, there are two peaks, one being the highly photographed point next to the toilets. The other peak takes another 30-45 minute walk (also sign posted) from the photographed point. This will add another 1-2.5 hours including time to take some photographs.