New Zealand

Exploring Wanaka and New Zealand’s Most Beautiful View

How do we choose the places we visit? Some are widely considered global must-sees – think iconic locations like Paris or the Great Barrier Reef. Some have a very specific reason that captures your interest. For example, I was excited to visit Krakow because of its rich and horrific World War II history. Then there are the places that you instinctively know that you will fall in love with. Wanaka fell into that category and did not disappoint.

roy's peak wanaka

First, time for a chilled out day in Wanaka before attempting the hike to Roy’s Peak the next day. We checked out the town, raced around the mazes in Puzzleworld and quietly sobbed to Lion in the retro cinema – okay, maybe the tears only came from me. But for real, any cinema that bakes fresh cookies for the interval gets a huge thumbs up. Then, we spent a relaxed evening walking around the lake to see the most famous sight in Wanaka.

Wanaka tree

Yep, it’s a tree! Honestly, I’ve never been so excited to see a tree in my life. This is what Instagram has created.

The next morning, it was time to take on Roy’s Peak. We drove just ten minutes out of town until the starting point and, despite my insisting on this particular hike, I immediately tried to back out. It is high, almost 1900 metres to be precise. Looking upwards at the steep slopes was pretty intimidating to say the least but thankfully, my walking buddy forced me to get moving. He also had to do this at 30 minute intervals when my calves started protesting – sorry mate.

roy's peak new zealand

As you get higher, the view only gets better with Lake Wanaka stretching out beneath the walking track. We stopped for lunch on a small rock with 180 degree views of the gorgeous surroundings.

Roys Peak lunch view

How can you not fall in love with the combination of amazing lakes and dramatic mountains? Images like this basically dominate my Instagram feed and getting to see it in reality was as exciting as when I spot my food making its way to my table in a restaurant.

When I originally wrote this, I seem to have blocked out all account of the actual walk. This may be through sheer muscle trauma. The hike does not stop going uphill once so it is an absolute killer. Regular breaks, snack bars and lots of water are key here. I can’t lie, a lot of motivation was needed to keep going but it was worth it. Honest.

roy's peak view

When we reached the top, the view opened out to reveal the other side of the valley. The breathtaking sight here includes Mount Aspiring / Tititea as well as the surrounding mountain range.

new zealand roy's peak

I wasn’t quite sure of why Wanaka stuck out as being such a great place but let’s be honest, these pictures definitely sum it up. There are so many hikes in the area that I have no doubt that we only scratched the surface of Wanaka in our two day flying visit so I can’t help but hope that we get to go back one day.

Laura x

Want to read more about our New Zealand trip?

Hiking the Tongariro Crossing

Driving Arthur’s Pass, New Zealand

Mount Cook and Glamping under the Stars

New Zealand Road Trip Budget Breakdown


Roy's Peak Wanaka | Wander with Laura

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  • Reply
    Nerissa | HejNerissa
    March 16, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Gosh, those views look unreal! Its amazing how such places even exist.
    Somehow it reminded me a lot of Komodo Islands in Indonesia.

    • Reply
      March 22, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      It is incredible! I’d love to have gone to the Komodo Islands in Indonesia but didn’t make it this time around 🙁 xx

  • Reply
    Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    April 11, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Okay. I loved Wanaka even though the weather wasn’t that great most of the time I was there. I even did a sky dive there which was so incredible that I’m not sure I ever want to do another one because nothing will compare! But I HAAAAAVE to go back and do this hike!!!

    • Reply
      April 21, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Wow I bet the skydive view was insane! Fingers crossed one day you’ll go back 🙂 🙂

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Wanaka has the best views. I will visit this majestic place again.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      It’s incredible isn’t it! I want to go back too x

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