Roys Peak Track
Roys Peak Track
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The track is closed for lambing from 1 October - 10 November each year. Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip.
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5.0
928 reviews
Excellent
762
Very good
140
Average
16
Poor
6
Terrible
4

kaylie
Ipswich, Australia24 contributions
Couples
If you are yet to do it Roy's Peak - do it!

This was the best hike of our trip (although Mikford Sound had some great hikes) but nothing can beat the view from the top!

On the day we went (mid-June), it had been raining all morning and when we arrived at midday, the mountain and area was blanketed in fog. We hiked up though and made it to the lookout (the famous photo spot) in 2.5hours. The track is zig-zag all the way up and you pass through cattle fields to get up. I am also not an overly fit or small person ( I also have asthma but we made it to the lookout within that time which included a few stops for photos and didn't need to use my puffer. We just took our time and didn't rush).

Half way up the hike, the fog started to lift. It came and passed a few times where it would come and disappear within ten minutes or so.

We also hiked to thr top summit. I've had friend tells us it wasn't worth it but we are glad we did it. It does not have that photographic shot like the lower lookout but it's still worth doing.

We also packed appropriately for coming down after sunset and in winter (we packed extra jackets, thermals, head lamps, food, water and emergency items in case). Head lamps were a must after dark and warm clothing. If it was a sunny day, the whole hike up would be in broad sunlight and we only wore light layers up in a foggy day.

Coming down felt like it took ages (though we were in the dark and took a bit over two hours from the very top summit). We did also have runners doing thr hike easily and were running up and down the tracks.
Written June 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

C Smyth
Auckland Central, New Zealand23 contributions
I hiked to the top of Roys Peak last weekend for sunrise with some friends. We started our hike at 3am in the dark with head torches to guide the way, and reached the top of the peak just in time for sunrise - the views did not disappoint!! It was quite a steep hike and took us approx 3 hours (including stops along the way to take photos). The viewpoint approx 30mins from the top is also a great spot to stop and take some photos. The descend takes surprisingly almost as long as the descent as it can be quite slippery (we took walking sticks along). I would definitely recommend doing the hike for sunrise is doing it during summer as it gets very hot when the sun comes up. Deffo a must do bucket list activity!! Take lots of water.
Written February 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pa12326
Krakow, Poland6 contributions
Solo
I went to Roy's Peak yesterday, starting at 6pm to reach the peak on a sunset.
Parking lot was half empty when I arrived, walk path was not crowded at all (I met ~ 20 people going down when I was hiking up). Instagram spot was not crowded either (there were only 5 Japanese people there making photos).
It's possible and afaik allowed to stay overnight at the peak (I haven't finally do that due to issues with my tent, but I've seen one tent at the top).
It took me 3.5 hrs to get to the peak and 2hrs down. I definitely recommend good trekking shoes, useful especially when you go down to feel more stable on the ground.
Please mind that 1000m of difference between start and finish is only if you finish at Instagram spot. There's another ~200m walk to the top of the mountain.
I was walking in a temperature of 25C degrees, but thanks to the fact that sun was on the other side of a peak, it wasn't shining on me, so walk was comfortable even in such hot weather.
Actual sunset that I was aiming to see wasn't that breathtaking, as sun was hiding behind other hills around, not behind the lake :( the place where sun goes down changes within a year so it might be better in a different months.

Anyway, it was a nice walk, I definitely recommend to do it, especially in the evening, as it doesn't get crowded that time and coming down in dark is a nice experience (especially when no clouds are expected for the night so you can catch amazing stars).
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Greg F
Auckland Central, New Zealand996 contributions
4 years on from my first hike of Roys Peak, I decided to do it again this time with my partner, coincidentally again in early July. The weather forecast was perfect for the day. We started at 6.30 AM about an hour and half before sunrise. At -5 degrees, it takes a while to get the body moving and you're at a good height for a beautiful sunrise. The track is well marked and wide and with it being such a popular track, there's always cars in the carpark no matter the season/or time of day.

The track starts up almost immediately and remains that way for the whole way to the summit. So while it isn't a technical track, it is by no means easy due to the vertical ascent. At a slow steady pace, we were at the Insta-famous viewpoint around 11 AM with several stops along the way thanks to the stunning views. With NZ being closed to international tourists during the pandemic and it being winter, it was not crowded at the viewpoint with about 10 people there at the time. It was a bit slippery at the viewpoint with the snow having just melted, but nothing too dangerous.

After the viewpoint, it took another hour to get to the summit due to snow and ice consistently the whole way making it fun if not a bit tricky. The views from the summit were out of a magazine. Breathtaking even if you aren't a landscape lover, with views of the Mount Aspiring National Park all the way to Mt Aspiring itself. On the other side is the Beautiful Lake Wanaka and township and Glendhu Bay.

After spending a half hour at the summit, we started to make our way down at 1 PMGoing down is easier albeit harder on the knees and it helps if you have a walking pole to support you. The way down should take about 3 hours and with an early sunset at 5 PM in winter, it's a good idea to time your descent as it does start to get cold incredibly fast as the shadows grow.

Hands down one of the best day walks in the country.
Written August 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joanne F
Melbourne, Australia128 contributions
Family
We did this hike with our 2 children (10 and 8). It was tough going in some parts when the track just kept going up and up and up. We reached the very top in just under 3 hours with stops. The views are fabulous and worth the pain! We started off at 8.30am and had lunch at the summit. It got very busy as we started coming back down. The hike down was much easier on the cardio vascular system but still tough on the legs, but nowhere near as bad as going up. All up we did it in 6 hours with breaks and the lunch stop. I recommend taking lots of water and food, sugar lollies helped me at the top to get some energy back. There are heaps of sheep and some bunnies along the way. Watch out for all the poo! Well worth the effort.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nicholal837
Auckland, New Zealand15 contributions
Family
We had 8 adults and 13 kids (from 11-13) of varying fitness levels. We started walking at 4.30am foe a couple of reasons:

1. To see the sunrise as we walked
2. To make sure the pre teens weren’t put off by looking up and seeing the steep inclines in places. Everything is easier in the dark - plus no heat!!

Fabulous walk, not the prettiest view on the track itself, and no shelter from the sun, but watching the sunrise over Lake Wanaka was incredible. The views from the top were unbelievably gorgeous!!

I’d actually say the walk down was harder on the legs! Pack plenty of hikers wool around your toes for the downhill journey! Your toes will thank me!

Pack plenty of snacks and water. We took 3 litres each but didnt need it all.

We were done by 11am after having a decent break at the top for lunch and photos. Superb weather. Easily doable with kids.

Well worth the view.
Written January 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Superwoman888
Auckland Central, New Zealand325 contributions
I started the climb at 9.30am. In hindsight, a much earlier start time is definitely recommended.

Because the weather forecast for the rest of our stay in Wanaka was rain, it was decided to do the climb on this one fine day.

And it was a tough slog; after half an hour from start time, I was surprised at how short an uphill distance I’d covered, especially since I believe I am a reasonably fit and active person.

It took me four hours to reach the top to the trig station, beyond the viewing platform.

That included lots of photo stops, a few snack/and many rest periods to enjoy the views and chatting to the fellow hikers. Take adequate water and food for the day.

The track is exposed, with very little shade cover or shelter from the weather. Track condition was good, many rocky patches, so good sensible footwear is advisable.

In saying that, i noticed others on the track were comfortable with running shoes or sneakers.

The day was hot and sunny. I had thrown an umbrella into my pack at the last minute, and was so thankful for the extra shade, in addition to my sun hat.

On the uphill, I passed plenty of early risers returning.

The downhill section required 3 hours of steady walking, assisted by walking poles.

Yes, the views are simply amazing, but the challenge to climb Roy’s Peak is there for the taking. Enjoy the journey.
Written April 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michelle H
San Francisco, CA242 contributions
Solo
I started the hike at 5am hoping to beat the crowd. Unfortunately it was foggy and cloudy the closer up I got. Some people started the hike at 3am to catch sunrise and we all just ended up in a soup up above. Luckily, I had plenty of time and waited FOUR HOURS for the cloud to clear up (bring a book). The weather got progressively better afternoon, but you probably want to hike up when it’s not sunny as the entire trail is exposed. For those of you living in SF Bay Area, the gradation is a little steeper than the first part of mission peak, and longer.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Christina N
Stockholm38 contributions
We started our walk at 7.15 AM. There was not too much people, no difficulties in getting a parking space. We only met a few other hikers.

This is not a technical track but it's a constant and fairly steep uphill climb for three hours. I consider myself to be more fit then average and I work out several times per week. Still, this trek was truly painful.

We made it to the lookout but decided to not go for the summit as we were tired enough and had to go all the way down. The way down was almost worse, it's a real strain on your legs. Also, since you go down the same way, there's not so much to see. I felt like we went forever.

I've read horror stories about one hour lines to take the famous Instagram photo but luckily there was only a few other people there. There were more people climbing up as we went down, though. So it was probably a good time to start the hike at around 7.15 am because then you miss the sunrise crowds and also the 9am crowds.

There are incredible views both on the way and at the lookout. But to be honest I'm not sure this horrible climb was worth it. There are so many great walks in NZ and I think there are several better and more enjoyable options.

If you do decide to do this track, don't forget to bring layers (we had both really hot as well as freezing weather during our hike), sunscreen (no shadow anywhere), water and food/snacks. Also, earphones since the way down is pretty boring.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GaryandLesleyTravel
Auckland Central, New Zealand5,016 contributions
Couples
In late July we completed this walk in near perfect weather. As soon as you start gaining altitude the stunning vistas appears and from there to the top it is photo opportunity after photo opportunity. The climb is continuous and in places is steep.
As we approached the peaks popular view point ~1300M we had been walking in ice and light snow for some 20 minutes. From here the push up to the summit 1578M was entirely in manageable snow. Although spending hours climbing in ~4* the wind chill at the summit was closer to minus 5* so be prepared and don’t be mistaken that sunshine in July means hiking without multiple warm layers, gloves and beanies. If you have the energy the satisfaction of reaching the summit is worth the extra push. There is a modest $2.00 charge to access the trail and the lower section is through private farm so you share space with friendly sheep and cattle. Final word, dress warm and be prepared for the wind chill at the top.
Written July 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Roys Peak Track (Wanaka) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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