Specifically named the Diamond Lake Conservation Area, this wonderful set of walks/hikes has options for every level of fitness, varying in length from 30mins to 3hrs. The area is covered in native forest and shrubland, with rocky outcrops further up and many spectacular views along the way. Diamond Lake itself often freezes over in winter time.
The track begins at a car park found on the right side of Mt Aspiring Road, past Glendu Bay and fairly close to the access road for Treble Cone ski resort. It’s a very easy 10min walk up to Diamond Lake on a 4WD track. From here you can chose to circuit the lake or continue up to the Diamond Lake lookout, both taking between 20 and 30mins. The circuit track is fairly easy going, however the hike up to the lookout is reasonably steep and requires a medium level of fitness.
To continue up to the 775m summit of Rocky Mountain itself carry on up from the Diamond Lake lookout, choosing between the east or west track options. Both routes involve fairly steep but short sections, however we recommend you take the west track up and loop back via the east track. This way you get to enjoy the stunning views over Lake Wanaka all the way down, rather than having your back to it on the way up. Note that the whole Rocky Mountain summit loop takes between 2.5 and 3.5hrs (return to and from the car park) and requires a reasonable level of fitness.
There is a short detour off the east track taking you to an additional lookout from which to enjoy more stunning views over Lake Wanaka (1.5 to 2hrs return to the car park). This lookout is easily accessed for those that prefer not to hike to the Rocky Mountain summit, however you will miss out on the views of Mt Aspiring (Tititea) out to the west.