DIAMOND LAKE - ROCKY MOUNTAIN
The Diamond Lake - Rocky Mountain track is a shorter walk (2-3 hour return) close to Wanaka and one of my favourites in New Zealand. Back in 2006/2007 I did it several times, hence a picture of that walk was chosen for our very first post. It has one of the best effort-to-view-ratios as it is not too arduous and yet gives way to a magnificent 360 degree view; Lake Wanaka, many of its bays and inlets and the Southern Alps including Mt Aspiring.
As advertised on one of the information boards in Wanaka, Roys Peak is one of the region’s must-dos. It is a 5-6 hour return hike that starts at lake level and takes you through farmland then up into the tussock tops to the summit at an altitude of 1578 m, covering a total of 16 km round trip.
I had been battling a nasty cold for the previous 10 days. Based on that, combined with my lung condition similar to asthma, my husband did not think it wise for us to do that hike which would be quite strenuous. However, my motto is pretty much “where there’s a will, there’s a way” - and I REALLY wanted to do that hike as a highlight of the region - my favourite in the country and a track I hadn’t walked before.
Needless to say, my mental strength (aka stubbornness) won over my physical weakness, but I was still huffing and puffing, wheezing and sneezing the entire way up the mountain. For the first time I was more looking forward to the descent; I usually prefer the ascent, putting less pressure on the knees.
As mentioned in one of our earlier posts, my husband gets very uneasy when it comes to heights - especially when on or along a ledge. The Roys Peak track is quite manageable in that regard up until the last 100 altitude metres to the summit. He instructed me to go ahead without him and he would wait in a little alcove along the track. Huffing and puffing, I made it to the summit on my own. As expected, the views were worth all the effort. Not wanting him to wait for too long I took a few photographs and headed back. Turning around one of the corners I saw him making his way along the track to the top. I was very proud of him to go beyond his comfort level and delighted to have a picnic together at the top to enjoy the hard-worked-for vistas.