Hundreds of people are heading up Wanaka’s Roys Peak Track after a significant upgrade, with reports of queues forming at the top of the track as people vie to snap the views.
The track is one of New Zealand’s most popular day walks, attracting 58,000 people between November 2016 and July 2017. In September, it was named one of five new Great Day Walks in a joint DOC and Tourism NZ promotion.
But it has suffered growing pains, with the car park regularly overflowing onto Mount Aspiring Road. After a three month redevelopment, budgeted for $500,000, the track reopened in November. The number of parks has doubled to 100, the car park has been sealed and the road has been widened to cater for overflow parking. A toilet will also be built near the summit later this season.
It is a must-do for social media-savvy tourists – the Otago Daily Times reported people were queueing for 30 minutes to get a photo at the top. Nearly 23,000 people had tagged photos of ‘Roys Peak’ on Instagram.
Central Otago senior community ranger Annette Grieve said the expanded car park was already full most days. She was not concerned that queues had been forming at the top of the track.
“You have views all the way up and along the ridgeline, but if people wish to queue for a particular shot then that’s up to them,” Grieve said.
It comes as tourist numbers continue to rise. Visitor arrivals were up 270,500 (eight per cent) in the year to October, to a record-breaking 3.7 million.