By now you probably know that Roys Peak is the best sunrise hike in Wanaka, but what if you don’t have the time, stamina or will to walk uphill in the dark for three hours. Mount Iron is the answer. It’s definitely not as impressive as Roys Peak (or Isthmus Peak) but at only 90 minutes return it’s a far easier and more relaxing option. Considering watching the sunrise at Mount Iron? Keep reading for more info!
Hiking Mount Iron
The Mount Iron Track is one of the shortest hikes in the Wanaka region, but it’s still a fairly demanding uphill journey to the top. Having said that, if you’ve done a bit of hiking in New Zealand you shouldn’t have any problems. The track wraps around the front of Mount Iron and overlooks the town, with the lake and mountains in the background.
It’s basically right in town, meaning you don’t have the “at one with nature” kind of feel that you get on other Wanaka hikes. This is a good thing if you don’t have your own transport, as you could walk to the start of the track from town.
Sunrise at Mount Iron
We thought we were a little late for sunrise (after sleeping in longer than planned) but we timed it perfectly — the sun peaked out from below the clouds just as we arrived at the top. The view from up there is great — you’ll see green fields, rolling hills and glimpses of Lake Wanaka.
It’s obviously not in the same league as Roys Peak but it’s still worth doing if you’re in Wanaka for a few days. There are a few stunning hikes in Wanaka and Mount Iron is easy enough that you can do another one on the same day (we hiked the Rocky Mountain Track straight after).
Other Hikes in Wanaka
The four most popular hikes in and around Wanaka (and the best, from what I can gather) are Roys Peak, Isthmus Peak, Diamond Lake / Rocky Mountain and Rob Roy Glacier. If you only have a day or two I’d suggest doing Roys Peak one day and maybe combining Rocky Mountain and Rob Roy Glacier on the other day. Isthmus Peak is great as well but it’s probably the hardest of the lot.
READ MORE: 18 Fun Things to Do in Wanaka
Getting to Mount Iron
The Mount Iron car park is located on the main road leading into Wanaka (just after Puzzling World when driving into town). You could walk if you have to but obviously having your own transport is preferable.
Planning a trip to New Zealand? Get lots of tips in our South Island Travel Guide!
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