Wanaka ‘MUST DO’ Hikes:
YOU’VE DONE IT! You jumped out of a perfectly good plane free falling and parachuting with what was once a beautiful stranger but is now your best mate!
Fuelled with adrenaline, courage and joy in arguably the most beautiful town in New Zealand’s South Island, we think a hike is your best bet! We’ve done the hard work for you and narrowed down the three best Wanaka trails for every fitness level and ability.
#1: MT Iron Loop Track – 2 hours – 5 km’s
About a five minute drive out of town The Mt Iron loop Track is a great way to prosper in the satisfaction of completing your first skydive. Unwind amongst the beauty of Wanaka, and take the steadily inclined stroll around the base of Mt Iron. The round trip provides you with stunning 360-degree views of Wanaka and beyond. On a clear day, you will be rewarded with sights of Hawea and Mount Aspiring National Park.
#2: Diamond Lake Walk to Lake Wanaka Lookout- 1.5 hours – 2.5 km’s
Diamond Lake is a 20-minute drive from town travelling lakeside, the carpark just off the road is your commencement point. From here it is a well-pathed track to the edge of Diamond Lake; however, we recommend taking the extended route to the Wanaka Lookout. A few forest staircases and rock trails are ahead, but when you reach the summit you will be greeted by an epic view of Lake Wanaka, and it’s surroundings.
#3: Roys Peak – 6 Hours return – 1.5 km Elevation
The infamous Roy’s Peak hike is not for the faint at heart; it is a fiercely inclined walk, unsheltered by the canopy of trees (top tip: Be sure to wear a hat and pack plenty of water, you’ll need it!). YES, the rumours are true, the track is extremely busy and challenging, to say the least….but once you reach the summit, you are rewarded with arguably the best views of Wanaka and beyond. We say ‘arguably’ because the people that profess such statements haven’t skydived in Wanaka! We both know nothing can beat that, am I right? Regardless, the breathtaking views are well deserved and offer the perfect backdrop for that #instaworthy upload.
Locals Knowledge… Isthmus Peak Track – 6 hours return – 16 km
If the combination of crowds and hikes doesn’t sit well with you, then we’ve got a locals secret you may want to jump at. Isthmus Peak Track, is a 16km, 6-hour return hike, extremely comparable to the views of Roys Peak, minus the crowds of people you have to share it with. Granted, it is a bit further out of town than some of the more popular walks in Wanaka, but it’s more than worth it. You’ll need to take a 30-minute scenic drive to the Stewart Creek carpark, to begin the trek, from here it’s a steep, well pathed, rocky climb upwards to a skyline ridge. At the top, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking yet far more secluded views of Wanaka and beyond. Refuel and take some scenic shots at altitude before making the return trip back, but shhhhh like we said it’s a locals secret, so keep it between the two of us.