In this study, the near-surface regions of air-exposed thin GaN layers deposited by hydride vapour phase (HVPE) epitaxy on 6H-SiC substrates have been examined. Chemical-state identification and in-depth elemental distribution profiles are evaluated using angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS) and secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS). The epilayers show a high degree of chemical purity as determined by XPS and SIMS. Low temperature photoluminescence (PL) were performed and is dominated by donor-acceptor pairs (DAP) emission. Layer thickness was measured to be ∼ 600-700 nm and an abrupt, well-defined heterointerface is observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and SIMS.