Our Favourite Walks and Hikes Around Wanaka
With mountains, lakes, valleys and rivers surrounding us, as well as some gorgeous little villages, there’s no place better to take a stroll than Wanaka.
Most visitors to Wānaka don’t let a bit of cold weather dampen their desire to explore, but we do notice more guests asking us about the best hikes in Wānakaas the weather starts to warm up. We’re in a great spot here – there’s no denying that! With mountains, lakes, valleys and rivers surrounding us, as well as some gorgeous little villages, there’s no place better to take a stroll. It’d be rude to keep all the best spots to ourselves, so in the interest of our guests having a wonderful time, we’ve put together a list of our favourite hikes and walks around Wānaka. And a final tip from us — you can download the Wānaka Tracks App to help you compare and select the best track for you. It’s available on both Apple and Android.
Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain
About 20 minutes out of town are Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain, home to some of Wānaka’s most popular walking tracks. No matter how much time you have on your hands or your fitness level, there’s a walking track here for everyone—and each has breathtaking views! If you fancy yourself an experienced hiker or relatively fit and able, the three-hour Rocky Mountain Summit Track is definitely the walk for you. Rated moderate to hard, the track includes a 775-metre climb to the summit, and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views. If you’re not quite so keen, if you have children with you or perhaps less time on your hands, the Diamond Lake Circuit Track is a fantastic option. The peaceful walk loops through the bush, and around the lake and can be mountain-biked too. And if you decide you’re up to it, you can take a ten-minute detour off the track and up a fair few stairs to see the serene lake from above.
Roy’s Peak Track
If you’ve already done a bit of research into the best walks in Wānaka, chances are you have heard of Roy’s Peak. It’s arguably the best-known hike around Wānakathanks to the jaw-dropping views which make for some stellar photo opportunities. But it’s not for the faint-hearted! You’ll need a good level of fitness and plenty of time up your sleeve – the 16km hike takes five or six hours to complete. Beginning at the Roy’s Peak car park on Mt Aspiring Road, the track is best climbed for sunrise and before it gets too busy. You’ll walk through wild tussock grasslands up to the Roy’s Peak Viewpoint—and while this isn’t the summit—it’s where you’ll get your best shots. Climb on the iconic grassy knoll that looks out over glassy Lake Wānakaand Mt Aspiring and soak it all in!
Beacon Point Walk
We have many families staying at our Wānaka accommodation, many of whom would not be able to complete the likes of the Roy’s Peak Track with kids in tow. For those with young children who are looking for a simple leisurely, stroll, we always recommend Beacon Point. It’s flat, pram-friendly and beautiful, following the lakeside between Beacon Point and Bremner Bay. It’s only about a 30-minute walk (one hour return), making it the perfect choice for some morning fresh air as you enjoy your takeaway coffee. You can take breaks along the way, paddle in the water, take a picnic or simply sit down and enjoy the view. You’ll pass plenty of runners, cyclists and walkers along the way, all out enjoying the tranquil lake and its many beautiful bays.
We’ve featured a couple of short tracks and a couple of longer ones, but what about those of you who are looking for something in between? Well, don’t worry. We have you covered too! Mount Iron is a 1.5 hour walk that begins just outside the town centre. The 4.5-kilometre track will take you 200m above sea level and treat you to great vistas over Wānaka, the lake and the nearby Albert Town. This walk is steep and can be rough in places, but it’s suitable for older children too if conditions are good. Some choose to take short rests at one of the many stops along the way, while others can be found running the whole way to the top before circling down again. As a bonus, this track is dog-friendly too. So you have your pooch staying with you at our Wānaka Holiday Park, be sure to take them along for the adventure!
For more on the EPIC walks and hikes in and around Wanaka, head to Lake Wanaka!
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