Short Travel Stories: Hiking Roy’s Peak

by | Apr 22, 2023 | News

Chapter 25 shares a story about hiking Roy’s Peak in Wanaka, New Zealand. A beautiful and special place, that everyone should visit. If you want to share your stories, contact us, or comment below.

Chapter 25: Hiking Roy’s Peak

Wanaka was exactly what we expected, a spectacular town, like taken out from a magazine. All these cafes looking to the lake, clean streets, a happy vibe, and beautiful mountains surrounding it, and standing tall between them is Roy’s Peak.

The drive from Queenstown to Wanaka was another dreamlike situation, the mountains covered in snow and the sun going down in the horizon, bathing the snow with orange rays.

We had heard about Roy’s Peak by a few people in Queenstown, all saying it was one of the nicest views they had ever seen. The hike itself wasn’t very famous, as a matter of fact is basically going straight up a giant hill for like three hours, there’s barely any trees or plants, but when you get to the top, oh man! But I’ll save that for later.

Starting Off Roy’s Peak

We park the car in a small paring lot just below the mountain. From there we started walking upwards. There’s a toilet right at the start, and I recommend using it as you won’t be going for at least other five hours.

It’s not a challenging hike, so we had one backpack between the two, with sunscreen, our cameras, a few sandwiches to have lunch at the top, a few cold beers, and water. We were wearing hiking boots, hiking pants, a t-shirt and an impermeable jacket, but overall, you don’t need any special gear.

The walk, as I said, is tough. You start off walking up a very steep path and after just a few meters your legs start hurting, at least ours did. After like half an hour it gets to an easier point, where it’s more of a zigzag. It was impressive as at that point we went through the first foggy cloud, or that was what it looked like, and so we couldn’t see much for like twenty minutes.

We left the cloud behind the moment it got extremely steep again and we started going up pretty quickly. Then, fortunately, the zig zag returns. Vegetation changes completely at the start of the second zig zag, from green grass and a few shrubs, it goes to yellow grass and no shrubs at all.

Up and up we went, every time looking down and getting a glimpse of what it was going to look like up top: the enormous lake reflecting the sun, with a few clouds surrounding it. It was beautiful.

wanaka new zealand

The first lookout came after like two hours. A lot of people were taking pictures in this other sort of smaller peak that is like three quarters up the mountain. You reach this sort of point in which the second peak sort of grows out like an arm or a branch from the big mass of soil, and you walk through this branch onto the other peak and below you there’s the lake, the clouds, other hills, and Wanaka. From behind, you can get a kick ass picture for your Instagram.

Reaching The Peak

After that we decide to take a risky shortcut and instead of following the traditional path, we went full alpha male mode and went walking over the edge of the mountain. Risky, tiring, but worth it.

There was some snow now, so it was slippery, and we were literally walking on the edge of the mountain. To our right side there was a steep slope that fell onto the traditional path, to our left side there was literally a straight wall of rock that fell like three hundred meters into nothing. If we had fallen down we would have probably died.

Whilst walking there I felt like one of the scenes of Lord of the Rings in which they walk on the edge of the snowy mountains. It was like that, a snowy triangular sort of path that lead to the peak.

going up roys peak

Finally we make it up there. It’s freezing cold, there’s quite a few people, and there’s the view.

From above you see everything, you feel the king of the planet. There it is, this gorgeous shining lake, surrounded by green everywhere, with layers of clouds below us just adding beauty and awesomeness to the view. To your right there’s Wanaka, to your left more superb mountains. And below you see all you walked to get up there.

at the top of roy's peak

After a few pictures what did we do? We sat down at Roy’s Peak, took out the sandwiches and the cold beers, had lunch and drank the beers, all of this whilst admiring the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen.


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