Diamond Lake Walk in Wanaka
This is a complete guide to the Diamond Lake Walk in Wanaka. – including track condition, length, and photos from our trip. This guide also includes info on all the connecting trails such as the Rocky Mountain Trail.
Diamond Lake Walk in Wanaka
The Diamond Lake Walk in Wanaka is a lesser known and easier hike than the famous Roys Peak. This short trail takes you to Diamond Lake before heading up towards the summit of Rocky Mountain. The views from the top are stunning and for those looking for a great way to spend a few hours, the Diamond Lake walk in Wanaka is a great option!
Where is the Diamond Lake Walk?
The Diamond Lake Walk in is located 20 minutes outside of Wanaka by car. To get there, follow the signs to Mount Aspiring National Park. The start of the trail is around 15 minutes past Roys Peak carpark and is on the right side of the road. You can also find the trails exact location on Maps.me. (Google maps took us to the wrong place so just be aware of that.)
How long is the trail?
There is no sign that gives you a set distance instead it’s the classic New Zealand “hiking times.” The hiking time to the very top of Rocky Mountain Summit is 1.5 hours. This time is accurate at a steady pace. If you just wanted to see the lake, it’s around 15 minutes, and to the lakes lookout around 30 minutes. Coming back is a lot faster and from the top you can get down in 30 minutes from Rocky Mountain summit.
How hard is it?
The Diamond Lake Walk in Wanaka is a rather easy hike. Although it is straight up almost the whole time there are plenty of places to stop along the way. If you think it might be challenging for you just allow more time. It’s better to do it slowly than not at all!
In some spots, the trail is a little dangerous. If you take your time it’s perfectly safe but I wouldn’t recommend letting young children run ahead because of these steep parts of the trail.
The Other Trails
Along the way, there are many different lookouts. Some of these are part of the main trail and others have their own paths. I personally think the view from the top of Rocky Mountain was the best and second would be the Lake Wanaka viewpoint (this viewpoint is marked on the trail). Most of the other lookouts are only a few hundred meters off the main trail.
There are also two routes to the top, the east and west routes. Both lead to the same place and I found the east path better for families with kids as it was better maintained.
At the start of the trail, there is a pit toilet and a carpark. Other than that, you are on your own. There is no cell phone service at the car park so if you suffer from allergies please bee (pun intended) prepared as you are a 20-minute drive to Wanaka. The reason I say this is I actually got stung by a bee in the carpark and I used to be extremely allergic. Luckily my desensitization worked and I only had a mild reaction!
What to bring
Shoes – During or after rain the trail is very muddy and slippery. In parts, it actually crosses a stream on a steep incline. This meant your shoes would get wet and really muddy. So if it is or has been wet I wouldn’t wear shoes you plan on wearing out later that night. Also if they’re not waterproof, be prepared for wet feet.
Hiking poles – For a popular trail, it’s pretty poorly maintained. Hiking poles would be a huge help to those with bad knees or lose their balance easily.
Water – I always recommend carrying water with you no matter how short the hike. It has many uses other than drinking like washing cuts or clearing eyes of mud etc.
The Diamond Lake Walk in Wanaka is a pretty straightforward trail but I hope this guide has cleared any questions you might have had. If not, shoot us a message and we will reply!
Where to next?
Heading up the West Coast? Check out our post about our favourite waterfall you simply can’t miss along the way.
June 3, 2019