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Wanaka: A Walkers Paradise

The small ,friendly township of Wanaka has to be one of our favourite stopping off points in the South Island of New Zealand . Less commercial than it’s near neighbour, Queenstown , it has an easy laid –back feel ,situated on beautiful Lake Wanaka amongst the stunning scenery of Mt Aspiring National Park .

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The township is also the gateway to many easy day walks to viewpoints or along the shoreline of the lake .

One of our favourites is the Diamond Lake Rocky Mountain track , often described as the best half day walk in New Zealand , it winds around a hillside from a trailhead located about 18 km from Wanaka town centre on the Wanaka – Mount Aspiring Road. At the top of Rocky Mountain there are  wonderful views of Lake Wanaka, Glendhu Bay, and the surrounding mountains.

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Another favourite is the trail to the Rob Roy Glacier.This is about an hour’s drive from Wanaka and  commences from the Raspberry Flat car-park. After about 15 minutes there is a swing bridge crossing of the West Matukituki River, downstream from the Rob Roy Stream junction. After the bridge the track climbs through a small gorge into beech forest, then into alpine vegetation at the head of the valley, with good views of the Rob Roy Glacier – a great place for lunch , before you head back down the valley .

Closer to the township is the strenuous  climb up Mt Roy . The track starts at the Roys Peak Track car park, 6 km from the Wanaka on the Mt Aspiring Road. . After crossing through paddocks, the well-graded track continues through alpine tussock to the ridge.At the summit( 1578m)  there are views of  most of Lake Wanaka, the surrounding peaks and Mount Aspiring/Tititea.

Rob Roy Glacier

Strong walking shoes or boots are required for all these walks ( not trainers ) Ensure you are carrying wet weather gear and a first aid kit .

Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy !

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