Explore the most popular Hiking trails near Wanaka with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
muddy
snow
4 days ago

Awesome track to do for sure! Mid winter you definitely need to be prepared for all conditions and time your hike correctly. I did the hike today on an overcast day hoping to get the amazing view at the top of both lakes however the weather changed and just at the top peak there was absolutely no viewing opportunities. The hike is still worth it to do on an overcast day as the higher you go the clouds do give you great views of lake Hawea, also in winter don't leave after 1pm as it means you will have to run down to beat hiking in the dark. The track was tough but not dangerous or slippery on the ice and snow towards the top. Still highly recommend to experienced or fit hikers as it's a good challenge with great views!

hiking
muddy
6 days ago

the hike is superb and it's a great challenge! look at the weather before you do it because when it rains the road becomes very slippery because of the mud.

Attention track closed / falling rocks

hiking
muddy
7 days ago

As for the views, they are spectacular. As for the hiking experience, as others have said, it’s the same road type path; not much diversity. Because of that, i would recommend only ever doing this hike to see the sunrise at the top. As of yesterday, the path has an incredible amount of sheep and horse dung in many stretches, and paired with the rain and mud conditions, and well you know, leave it to your imagination. My wife and i would rate this as a 3.5 with the views at the very top being the very worthwhile reward at the end. In the dark, the trail is still frosted over so the mud is hard and doesn’t come into play on the way up. Be prepared for cold conditions after the viewpoint for photos; many turn around at that point, but the last 1.5k to the top has better views. It does get icy/snowy, so make sure to wear appropriate shoes. As of July 15, you didn’t need crampons, and I would think in even the worst conditions if you are careful, you won’t need them. Took us 5 hours(total return), but we weren’t trying to set any speed records and timed it to get to the peak 5 minutes before sunrise so we wouldn’t freeze. If you aren’t a runner or at a high level of cardio fitness, expect the hike to take 6+.

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike. Hit the track at 5am aiming for sunrise (8:14am) but was up top just after 7 am. Could have got another half hour sleep. Bit icy on the last bit but no worries - just took really slow. Clouded over so came down for first light which was golden reds, yellows and some greens. Spectacular. Allow 4-4.5 hours if you keep moving (includes 30 mins to admire the “grand show” and something to eat). A bit tough to get going at first but once you’re settled in it’s all good. Stronger headlamp would be good - no moonlight today.

hiking
12 days ago

good views!

hiking
13 days ago

Yup, I can verify this one is ruthlessly straight up, except for that one patch that leveled out a bit... just kidding. I did it on my honeymoon nine months ago, and we’re still married, so there’s that! It was actually one of our favorites. Second only to Gertrude’s saddle for the hikes we did on South Island.

hiking
private property
snow
22 days ago

Absolutely amazing views from the bottom to the top! We did it with a toddler in a hiking carrier and found it particularly difficult once we hit the ice...yes, there’s ice, and a lot of it towards the peak! It does get very slippery and I even sat down and slid down part of the descent because it was safer than walking! I’d recommend taking poles and to have some hiking/trekking experience behind you. It gets icy cold at the top and this made it painful for our almost 2 year old daughter so we quickly turned back to warm her up, but it’s definitely achievable (albeit hard) with a small child and well worth the effort.

hiking
25 days ago

Awesome trail all the way around. Beautiful views all the way up of one side of the isthmus and a spectacular view of the other side from the top! Seriously, just stunning views. Had a decent amount of people but never felt crowded. 2 parking lots left us plenty of room to find a spot for a big ‘ol camper van.

hiking
25 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Great views the entire way up (and down). Took us about 4ish hours. Would do again and again!

hiking
muddy
no shade
private property
1 month ago

This trail would be one of the best places for the sunrise around Wanaka and Hawea :)) Although I was too late to get the sunrise from the top, I had a wonderful one on the way to summit since most of the area is opened for its stunning scenery. It took me approximately 4.5 hours for all the way excluding break and lunch time. About 2.5 hours to get to the top if you just keep going. In my case, I spread additional half-hour for taking pictures of sunrise, deer??, fluffy sheep and of course lakes and mountains. And 2 hours to get back. So it's better plan to start hiking 3 hours before the sunrise time, if you want to catch it from the summit. There are some muddy points by the melting frost or small streams. So I would suggest you to wear water resistance/proof hiking shoes. Or do hike in the early morning. Then the ground could be still firm enough to step on. At last, due to the quite steep trail, a pair of trekking pole would be very helpful if you have one!! I really liked this hiking. I would love to try it again.

nice little climb with a good view of wanaka. good to do early morning or late afternoon

good climb straight up but worth it for the views at the top

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Excellent hike in general, but best when you plan correctly. Start your ascent about 2 hours 30 minutes before sunrise. Like others have said, this hike is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge. The steepest part of the ascent is the first 30 minutes of the hike, so it's best not to be looking at it in the sun. Just keep trudging up. You should reach the Instagram spot (where most people go for photos and turn around) right about sunrise, and the views from there are spectacular. It's about another 30~45 minutes to the top from there, and from the top you can see the back end of the valley and the entirety of the lake. Don't stop at the photo point, you haven't conquered the mountain lest you place your hands on the pole at the summit. It's worth the extra struggle to reach the top. Enjoy the views, by then the sun will be up enough to light up the surrounding area. Then all that's left is to hobble down as best you can, wondering how the hell you got up this ridiculous mountain in the first place. To note, if it rains, there's no protection and all of the runoff goes onto the trail. It can also get super windy at the summit, so stick to the trail best you can. Also, you might see some sheep along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty easy hike took just over an hour to get to the top and back down. Decent view of Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. Bring a peanut butter sando for the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Too many people. The car park has had 30+ vehicles every time that I have driven past. There is no shortage of challenging hikes in this area and the views are just as fantastic. This one is definitely overrated. Count me out

hiking
1 month ago

I actually feel bad giving this hike only a 4 instead of a 5...but hear me out. What everyone is saying is true: the views are awesome, they really are. But this hike is as much of a mental challenge as a physical challenge. The climb is relentless. I think in the entire 4.5 mile ascent, there is only about 1/3 of a mile of level terrain...it’s a constant climb which is usually steep. Pace yourself and remember that even when you reach the lookout, if you’re going to summit...you still have another 30 minutes to go. Now as to why a 4 instead of 5: You keep the same view the entire way so it’s not much developing as you go up...so it can kind of get boring. Again, the view when you arrive is amazing amazing. But just comparing some other hikes I’ve done that I’ve rated as a perfect 5, I feel like this one falls slightly below those. Amazing experience though!

hiking
2 months ago

Half hour to the top of the hill

hiking
2 months ago

Is an amazing track which I would like to recommend to everyone. Choose a beautiful day, bring some water and food, then enjoy the great view of the landscape on track.

Very beautiful hike, same view until the top but worth it! But very hard you need to be prepared mentally!!

beautiful views all the way down. the stars were incredible on the way up for sunrise. even saw a few shooting stars! would highly recommend as it wasn't crowded and had incredible views at the top

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice trail, simple, the only thing that is missing is more information, it has several roads without indicating which is the correct one. Nice view of the city.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent track, very well marked, the demand is moderate. There are parts with stairs and others where you spend in water and mud, you have to have good shoes, the view at the top has no name is very nice. I totally recommend it,

hiking
2 months ago

Honestly the hike sucked, it was just an uphill grind the whole time with zero breaks, and overall pretty boring while walking. We started at 4 AM to catch the sunrise — so glad we did! Got up to the top in 3 hours and we are in moderate fitness, there were less than 20 people at the peak but we saw so many more on the way down. Views at the peak are SPECTACULAR. we got extremely lucky with the weather, clear day, but the wind at the top was horribly cold. Couldn’t really bear it, but we watched the sun rise at the top and it was gorgeous — saw perfect views of mt. Aspiring, the surrounding snow capped peaks, and Lake Wanaka. It was chilly at the bottom when we started but pretty warm when we ended, but I was in 4 layers at the peak. Definitely worth the effort, but I would HIGHLY recommend the sunrise hike to avoid the crowds and the sunrise is gorgeous over the mountains. A lot of people started up the hike that I knew wouldn’t last — sorry hun, but your designer boots and jeggings aren’t a good idea, regardless of how cute you want your famous Instagram shot to be.

hiking
2 months ago

cool trail with nice track. prefer to start with the east track and go down with the west track. tracks are wet and more easy in that order. west track is not in good "heath" at some parts. hard to climb. beautifull view on wanaka lake and on the cliffs all around. 360° view at the top. wonderfull with sunny weather.

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