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Diamantina Nov 29th, 2017 02:31 PM

Roy's Peak/Mt. Roy Track, Wanaka, NZ
Here's some news about one of Wanaka's most popular day walks.
If you're hoping to for an iconic portrait of yourself on Mt. Roy, plan on the walk taking an extra half-hour this summer.
Furthermore, parking capacity for this popular track has been doubled:

Melnq8 Nov 29th, 2017 03:06 PM

Wow. I think we saw 12 people last time we were there.

Diamantina Nov 29th, 2017 04:50 PM

Melnq8, that's the reward of being a shoulder-season traveler! I've yet to walk Roy's Peak, fearing it would exacerbate my knee injury. Isn't it farly exposed, as well? The idea of limping up a steep slope under the hot sun for three hours, then icing my knee after coming down, doesn't much appeal to me. Though, granted, the views look amazing. Wanaka's Diamond Lake walk is good enough for me.

They've needed to widen the road and expand parking for a while. When we've passed its parking area in autumn (because that's our preferred time for driving trips), there were so many cars they were encroaching upon the roadway. It looked very much like this:
The parking situation should be much better now.

Melnq8 Nov 29th, 2017 05:27 PM

Diamantina - I've been skimming my numerous trip reports, trying to find what I wrote about Roy's Peak, but I haven't found it yet. If I remember correctly, it was very exposed, and we were up there in bad weather, which made it treacherous to boot.

That photo depresses me to no end. I miss NZ the way it used to be.

I doubt I could hike Roy's Peak these days, as I share your knee woes. I first injured it while hiking a steep side path down from the Queen Charlotte track in 2008 and it's been torturing me (or I it) ever since. I seriously angered it again in June hiking in Switzerland, and as I type this I have to wonder how we'll get along on our winter hiking trip to Switzerland - we leave in a few days and the old knee isn't being very cooperative at the moment. Nothing screams old age louder than a suitcase full of knee braces, heat wraps and ointments:)

Diamantina Nov 30th, 2017 04:27 PM

Thanks, Melnq8, that was my impression of the track, as being exposed. That's how it seems from the roadway. It's now scratched off my "must-do" list. Walking it in bad weather doesn't sound pleasant. You must have been determined!

The popular places are more crowded now, and many formerly "off-the-beaten-track" spots have long been "discovered", promoted by other travelers and media, and now busier as well. But I have no doubt you'll still be able to find quiet and solitude on the South Island in the off-season. Even in peak season on perfectly sunny windless weekend days, my husband and I will find ourselves alone or nearly alone when walking on local beaches.

I had knee surgery many years ago and all was fine until, in an attempt to get fitter, I did a squat with a light weight at the gym and heard a loud, worrisome "crack". It's improved with rest and dietary supplements. Regular swims don't seem to bother it (and might even help), but long flights of stairs are wounding.

"Nothing screams old age louder than a suitcase full of knee braces, heat wraps and ointments" To this I'd add sagging leathery skin and greying hair (gosh, I sound vain).

I wonder how the land will look by the time you get here in May. It's been hot and dry down south. We've had February weather since October. Flowers bloomed and Central Otago cherries went on sale way earlier than normal. This'll give you idea:

Normally green pastures are already turning yellow, something that doesn't usually happen until February—if it happens at all. I hope we'll get more rain, apart from the occasional flash flood. One thing that impressed me about Dunedin was how homeowners had deep green lawns and overflowing colorful gardens, but I never noticed a single sprinkler (except at the Botanic Garden)—this was a big change from California!

Have fun in Switzerland and good luck with your knee—I'm sure you'll be careful.

Melnq8 Nov 30th, 2017 04:48 PM

Thank you Diamantina, I will do my best. Our luck, we'll bring the rain with us to NZ...probably by the boatload.

Diamantina Dec 1st, 2017 11:19 PM

That's okay! Bring on the rain! As always, New Zealand awaits you.

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