While in Wanaka it's a must to do at least one to two hikes in the area. I would say even more, because here are so many. Most people choose Roys Peak, as it is one of the most popular ones.
We decided to do Isthmus Peak track first. This hike also receives much less traffic than Roy’s Peak. Probably because it hasn’t become as insta famous. There are no queues for photos, and fewer people in general.
It starts with nice walk through the meadow between the sheep, with some steep sections.
It is a long, steady climb for the most part. Actualy Isthmus Peak is a 1133m climb over 15.9km trek. Whenever we felt that we are close to the peak, turned out we are not. I needed a lot of rest stops, as it was a hot day and the trail is quite steep all the time. If I wouldn't have done Avalanche Peak track which was my biggest challenge (You can read about it HERE), I would say, that this trail is quite hard. But after Avalache Peak, I can say, that this is just moderate. At least for me.
The good thing is that this hike rewarded us with spectacular, panoramic views. Almost in every turn there was a nice spot for photos or picnic. The weather was perfect, sunny and with a light breeze.
I loved the views around. The grass was yellowy brown, lakes and the sky blue and snow bright white. Landscapes just took my breath away. In every rest stop I took my time, just to inhale the beauty around.
Reaching the Peak was magical. It gave us a beautiful 360-degree view of both Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka as well as the mountains of the Southern Alps. The track will take 5-7 hours both ways. For us it was more then 4 hours to get up, because we had a lot of rest and photo stops. We also spent almost an hour just to sit, eat our sandwiches and admire the beauty around us.
The good thing is, there are multiple spots for a great insta picture. And even tho there was quite a lot of people there, that day, you still don't have to wait in a line to take that pic, like in Roy's Peak.