Sunrise Hike Roys Peak – Wanaka, New Zealand

May 24, 2021| New Zealand|2 Minutes|By Mike Tesselaar

3AM, hot coffee ready and about to take the local taxi from Wanaka to the bottom of Roys Peak; it’s time for a sunrise hike!

The hike

Lets start off by saying the hike to Roys Peak is quite steep, but in every case worth it. Starting around 3 to 4AM should be alright to start. Don’t go to early though, as it can be freezing cold up there waiting for the sun to come.

The way up is absolutely spectacular walking underneath the stars with flashlights off. After a good 2+ hours of hiking, you’ll reach the top which is marked with a radio tower. This is the best place to stand to watch the sunrise too, which will rise from the direction of Wanaka. Friendly reminder: do bring extra clothing (and maybe something stronger than coffee) with you, you’ll thank me later.

Going back down the mountain, you’ll have to take the same route. However, as you hiked up under the stars, you’ll have enough to see going down in the light!

The view

Talking about 360 degree views, Roys Peak is way up there! The view ranges from huge lakes, mountain ranges, the city of Wanaka and even snowy mountaintops in the distance. It’s no wonder Roys Peak is loved by travelers. As an award for your early rise, you’ll get full sunset colors, a big reveal of the surroundings and less traffic of fellow hikers. Hiking before sunrise is the better choice by far for both photographers as regular travelers.

Most people hang around for about 1,5-2 hours; having breakfast, making pictures and enjoying the view.


Can’t get enough of the view after coming back from Roys Peak? The local airport offers the opportunity to fly a plane (with an experienced pilot at your side), and you can bring a friend to enjoy the view and take some photo’s of you being a pilot! Not to bad, hey?


If you’re planning your trip right now, best of luck and have fun!

Cheers, Mike