Diamond Lake walk in Wanaka

Get a description and see photos of the Diamond Lake walk up to a lookout that offers good scenic views over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains.

The Diamond Lake Conservation Area has several walks you can do, each varying in difficulty and the time it takes to do the walk.

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This article in particular covers the Lake Wanaka Viewpoint walk, which takes you past Diamond Lake up to a viewpoint (at 540 metres) that overlooks Lake Wanaka.

It is best to do this walk in spring, summer, or autumn, since in winter the track can be icy and slippery. And because this walk takes in the scenery around Wanaka and is quite exposed to the elements once you reach above Diamond Lake, it is best to do it on a day with good weather.

The Diamond Lake track goes uphill, so you require a good level of fitness to do any of the walks around Diamond Lake in Wanaka. However, it is not as strenuous as the Mount Roy walk.

How to get to the Diamond Lake track in Wanaka

From Wanaka township, drive in Western direction on the Wanaka - Mount Aspiring Road towards Glendhu Bay.

It is hard to miss Glendhu Bay, since there will be a campground on the right side of the road when you reach Glendhu Bay.

Continue driving past Glendhu Bay. After a couple of minutes, you should come up to an T-junction with West Wanaka Road on your right.

Pass the junction and continue driving until you see another turnoff on your right. Take this turnoff, since it will lead to the carpark for the Diamond Lake Conservation Area.

Diamond Lake Conservation Area Department of Conservation (DOC) sign in Wanaka, New Zealand

Do not drive too fast after you pass West Wanaka Road, otherwise you will miss the junction for the carpark. The junction is about 18 km from Wanaka town centre on the Wanaka - Mount Aspiring Road.

The start of the walk is clearly signposted at the carpark. There are also a couple of information panels where you can read about the history of the region and its flora & fauna.

The Lake Wanaka ViewPoint walk

To get to the Lake Wanaka viewpoint, you must first walk to Diamond Lake, and then up to the viewpoint.

The Diamond Lake track starts out with a gentle climb, but you'll still need to be fit enough to walk up the trail to Diamond Lake. The start of the trail is an old dirt road, so a well-formed track.

Looking back at the carpark of the Diamond Lake track in Wanaka, New Zealand

After walking for about 15 to 20 minutes, you should reach a junction where you can go left or right around Diamond Lake. Follow the walking trail to the left.

Diamond Lake is surrounded by trees, but you should be able to find an opening and peek through to see the lake.

Autumn trees at Diamond Lake in Wakana

Diamond Lake in Wanaka, New Zealand

Continue along the trail and then to the left up the trail that climbs to a lookout over Diamond Lake. This part of the trail is very steep in some parts, rocky, slippery at times, and also has steps you must walk up.

Once you're at the top, you can continue on to the Diamond Lake lookout. The climb to the lookout should take you approximately 10 minutes or less.

Diamond Lake in Wanaka as seen from above

Once you're done enjoying the view of Diamond Lake from above, get back on the trail, and continue walking. From this point on, you should start getting views of Lake Wanaka, Glendhu Bay, and the surrounding mountains.

Glendhu Bay and mountains as seen from the Diamond Lake trail in Wanaka

Soon you should come up to a junction that goes either to the left following the Rocky Mountain trail, or to the right following the Lake Wanaka Viewpoint trail.

Junction of the Rocky Mountain and Lake Wanaka Viewpoint trails

Looking back on the Diamond Lake trail in Wanaka, New Zealand

Continue on the Diamond Lake Viewpoint trail until you reach a stile and a sign for the Lake Wanaka viewpoint about 5 minutes after passing the junction.

Climb over the fence and continue on the trail for another 5 minutes or so to reach the Lake Wanaka viewpoint. Sit down on the bench and enjoy the view of Lake Wanaka and the mountains.

Lake Wanaka as seen from the Diamond Lake Track in Wanaka

Basic information for the Diamond Lake walk in Wanaka

Trail length: 1 km (0.6 mi) to the Diamond Lake lookout; 2.5 km (1.6 mi) to the Lake Wanaka viewpoint.
Elevation gain: 220 metres
Walking time: 1.5 – 2 hours return to the Lake Wanaka lookout (varies depending on your fitness level)
Difficulty: Medium to hard
Trail type: The track is a well-trodden path that is very easy to follow. Once you reach Diamond Lake, you will climb steeply to a viewing platform above Diamond Lake. The track in this section is rocky and there also steps to climb. Then the trail becomes a mixture of sand and gravel until you reach the Lake Wanaka viewpoint where it softens up a bit.
Trail condition: Good
Fitness level: Medium to high
Best time to walk: Anytime between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Note that once you are past Diamond Lake, which is surrounded by trees, there is not much shelter on the track. So carry protection against the sun, which tends to be strong especially in summer.
What you'll see: Lake Wanaka, Glendhu Bay, and surrounding mountains.

The following map shows the location of the parking lot and the location of the Lake Wanaka viewpoint. The Diamond Lake track which follows an old dirt road is clearly visible on the map.

Use the plus and minus buttons to zoom in and out of the map and to see more or less detail on the map.

Figure 1. Map of the Diamond Lake track, Wanaka, New Zealand.

 

Note: Walking tracks and trails can be changed or get closed. The information presented here was accurate when it was gathered.

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