October 30, 2018

Perhaps one of the most recognizable places in New Zealand, no trip to the South Island is complete without a quick jaunt up the famous Roy's Peak. A rather monotonous walk will take you to high above the Wanaka township where you'll be rewarded with otherworldly views. Turquoise lakes, towering snowy peaks, perfectly placed islands. Despite being one of the most sought-after hikes in New Zealand, Roy's Peak continues to impress time after time.


We often talk about getting those unique shots in those places no one knows about but the reality is when you come to beautiful places, it's hard not to go those place that everyone goes. They're popular for a reason! When team Vallerret traveled to Wanaka in August, we made it a point to get up this famous peak to see what all the fuss is about. 



Is it a busy place? For sure. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Roy's Peak in winter did not disappoint Here's everything you need to know if you're planning on making this hiker's pilgrimage during your New Zealand travels.

Distance:

16 km return

women taking photo on top of a mountain
Elevation:

1578 meters (Nearly 1,278 meters gained)

Duration:

5-6 hours return, plus extra for photos and snacks

mountaintop photos in the snow
How to get there:

The start of the Roy's Peak track is located 6km outside of the Wanaka township. There's ample parking if you're planning on driving but for those who want an extra challenge, you can walk the 6km to the track via the track that border the lakefront.


Time of year:

Roy's Peak can be hiked all year round but of course, we prefer Roy's Peak in the winter! If you're planning on tackling this peak in the winter, you may need crampons or an ice ax depending on the snow conditions. At the very least, caution should be taken during the last 1/3 of the hike which can be steep and slippery. New Zealand weather can be finicky and quickly changing so be sure to prepare for any and all weather conditions.

This track is completely closed to all visitors from 1 October - 10 November due to lambing. There is no access to the track during this time so if this is a must-see for your trip, plan accordingly!


What to bring:

A good pair of hiking shoes or boots with decent grip is essential. For winter walking, you'll want a shoe that is waterproof and warm. Bring more layers than you'll think you'll need. You might be warm on the walk up but as soon as you stop for photos (and trust us, you will definitely be stopping for photos!) you'll get cold quickly. We always opt for merino wool base layers with a good insulating mid-layer. Don't forget a warm hat, waterproof jacket, insulating layers and of course, your photography gloves. If you want a deep dive on how to dress for winter photography, check out our list here.

The views from this hike are best during golden hour so if you're planning on hiking for sunrise or sunset, be sure to bring your head torches so you can navigate your way down in the dark.

Don't forget to pack enough food and water for your trip. There are no water sources on the mountain so make sure you have enough in your pack to last. If it's going to be an especially cold day, it might be a good idea to pack a camp stove to boil water for tea or coffee. Staying warm is essential to enjoying this awesome mountain!

Roy's peak photo spot
Roy's Peak Photo Locations:

Of course, the views from the summit are out of this world that classic shot you might have seen before is actually taken before the summit, about 2/3 of the way to the top. Once you're at this iconic spot, have a quick look around for the best angle. Your composition can be greatly enhanced by getting just slightly higher or to the right or left of the typical photography spot. The track provides a nice leading line to the ledge, overlooking the lake and the islands.

Further up the peak, you'll be able to see down to Matukituki valley with Mt. Aspiring (New Zealand's second highest peak) towering in the distance. If you look behind you, you'll see the quiet bustling Wanaka township and even Lake Hawea in the distance.

For the super adventurous, continue on to Mt. Alpha for even more photo opportunities! Plan about 45 minutes to get to the summit of Mt. Alpha.

Have you beenup the iconic Roy's Peak? What tips would you give?

 

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission without any cost to you. We only ever recommend products that we have personally used and can stand behind.


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Help With Sizing

FIND YOUR SIZE:

  1. Measure around the widest part of your hand with a relaxed open palm.
  2. Measure from base of hand to the tip of the middle finger.

PEASE NOTE:  We design our gloves to be snug for best camera feel possible. This sizing chart reflects snuggly fitted gloves.

    Unisex Size Guide XS S M L XL XXL
    Hand Girth cm  18 - 20  20 - 21 21 - 22 22 - 23 23 - 25 25-28
    inch  7.1 - 7.9   7.9 - 8.3  8.3 - 8.7 8.7 - 9.1 9.1 - 9.8 9.8-11.0
    Hand Length cm  16.0 - 17.5  17.5 - 18.5 18.0 - 19.0 19.0 - 20.0 20.5 - 22.0 22-24.0
    inch  6.3 - 6.9 6.9 - 7.2 7.1 - 7.5 7.5 - 7.9 8.1 - 8.7 8.7-9.4
     EU Size Equivalent  EU 7.5  EU 8 EU 8.5 EU 9 EU 10 EU 11
     Unisex Glove Models: Markhof Pro 2.0 | Skadi Zipper Mitt | Ipsoot | Alta Over-Mitt | Merino Liner Touch | Primaloft/Merino Liner | Urbex | Powerstretch Pro Liners
    Female Size Guide* XS S M L XL
    Hand Girth cm 16.0 - 17.5 17.5 - 18.8 18.5 - 20.0 20.0 - 21.5 -
    inch  6.3 - 6.9 6.9 - 7.4 7.2 - 7.9 7.9 - 8.5 -
    Hand Length cm 15.5 - 16.5 16.3 - 17.2  17.0 - 18.5 19.0 - 20.0 -
    inch  6.1 - 6.5 6.4 - 6.8 6.7 - 7.3 7.5 - 7.9 -
     EU Size Equivalent  EU 6  EU 7 EU 8 EU 9 -
    *This size guide is specific only to W's Nordic Photography Glove

      

    Please note, our gloves are designed to fit snuggly to give you the best camera feel without compromising on warmth. If you prefer a looser fit, please consider to go a size up.

    As we learn more and more about gloves we also learn that all hands are different. Some people have long skinny fingers and slim wrists, others have wide hands with short fingers.

    Our gloves wont fit all even with the right measurements from the sizing chart – but we try!

     

    What size should I get if I'm between sizes?

    For many, the best option will be to go up a size if your measurements are in between sizes.

    If you are between sizes or if your hands do not fit into the measurements on our sizing chart, we recommend prioritizing the fit for the girth measurement. The girth is the most important measurement and if the girth size on the glove is too small, you won't be able to fit the glove.

     

    Should I size up for my liner glove?

    If you’re considering pairing a liner glove with your photography gloves, we recommend choosing the same size liner as photography glove. We designed our liners to be thin and fit inside of our photography gloves so we recommend your normal size in liners. There are two exceptions to this:

    Exception #1: If you are at the very end of the ratio size in the sizing chart, e.g. 1 mm from being a size Large, then we advise going up a glove size if you plan to often wear the liner with the gloves. 

    Exception #2: If your personal preference is to wear fairly loose gloves, then you should also go up a size when adding a liner. We don't recommend this as you will compromise dexterity with loose gloves and our priority is best possible camera feel. But you know best what you like!

    House tip: Make sure to choose a liner size that is snug/tight on your hand for the best Fliptech performance when wearing liners and gloves together.

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