With a wide range of hiking, camping and adventure options, Mount Cook is a destination that should definitely be included in any hiking and outdoor focused trip to New Zealand. If hiking these trails is a priority for you, I highly recommend staying within the village itself. While you won’t need to prepare too much for those shorter hikes mentioned, on some of the longer ones the packing list can come in very handy. Location: Starts at the Domain at the bottom of Mt John, Lake Tekapo. Description Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park has rugged landscapes full of rock and ice. Mount Cook National Park is home to many short and accessible hiking trails. The park is home to Mount Cook Aoraki, New Zealand’s highest mountain and where the first person to climb Mount Everest trained for his great feat. Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and rock. Climb Aoraki Mt Cook 3724m in November 2017 via Zurbriggen Ridge from Plateau Hut The relatively easy Hooker Valley Track opens up to some great views of Mount Cook (also known as Aoraki in Maori), New Zealand’s tallest mountain. 4) Scenic Flights & Helicopter Rides – a flight above Mount Cook National Park will have you in awe as you take in the views from above. Before reaching Mount Cook Village, turn right on Hooker Valley Road. [Note that this article was first called 24 hrs in Mt Cook and published in 2014. Starting over the Opihi River, the 1h30min return walk is a journey through history. Where the trail is inaccessible, we will take you on a short scenic helicopter flight to reach our destination. » Learn More in the Mueller Hut Track Hiking Guide. 1) How to Get to Mount Cook National Park, 2) Where to Stay Near Mount Cook National Park. Red Tarns Track. The area surrounding Aoraki Mount Cook is full of incredible day hikes to lakes, tarns, glaciers, and epic viewpoints. As mentioned above, Mount Cook Village is the main town where most of the hiking trails are located around. » Learn More in the Red Tarns Track Hiking Guide. If you want to take part of any of the hiking trails in Mount Cook National Park, you will need to make your way to the area around Mount Cook Village. This relatively flat hike takes you along the Hooker River between mighty peaks, over 3 picturesque suspension bridges until climaxing at the Hooker Glacial Lake showcasing the sheer rawness of New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Mount Cook. 10 NYE Events in New Zealand You Can’t Miss. Mueller Hut is one of the most spectacular destinations for a day hike or overnight trek in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (and perhaps all of New Zealand). It is a beautiful trail that takes you along Mueller Lake, across 3 suspension bridges, and into the Hooker Valley right up to Hooker Lake. A short helicopter ride will bring you onto the Tasman Glacier, where you can spend a few hours hiking throughout the incredible landscape. There are 11 official Mt Cook hikes in the national park. Do note there is a bit of elevation gain to get those views. Those 11 trails can be reached from 3 different places – Mount Cook Village, White Horse Hill Campground, and the Tasman Glacier Car Park. We only drove to the park and took a few photos on a short hike, but it seemed like there were some pretty epic hiking opportunities around there. As the highest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki Mt Cook provides the backdrop to many super stunning hikes in the Canterbury region of the South Island. Explore glaciers, ice-covered peaks, ice caves, lakes, valleys, and many breathtaking alpine locations in any of our Aoraki / Mt Cook Day Walks. For an easy-going walk with great views of the Southern Alps, Lake Tekapo and Motuariki Island, the lake’s biggest island, take on the 1h30min Peninsula Walk. The return trip will take some 3-4 hours, depending on how fast you walk and how many photos you take. This track will take you to the bottom point of the Tasman Lake as you see where the lake meets the river. You’ve probably heard of the Hooker Valley Track, by far the most popular hike in Mount Cook National Park. Hiking in cloudy/rainy conditions will not be the same experience as hiking on a clear day. By foot you cannot get any closer than this if you don’t plan on climbing Mount Cook. The track leads up the Hooker Valley and along the Hooker River, ending at the glacier lake, where there are amazing views of Aoraki/Mount Cook on a clear day. The best time to walk this stunning track is at dawn when you can view the first rays of the sun creeping over the Southern Alps, including over New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. We loved our visit there, campervanning around both islands. While much of the walk is done through the trees, you will be welcomed to a nice viewpoint of Mount Cook Village and the Hooker Valley out in the distance. AllTrails has 16 great hiking trails, views trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. » Learn More in the Kea Point Track Hiking Guide. We would have loved to spend more time at Mt Cook. With a clear night, you can get some beautiful night skies as shown in our 5 Stargazing Sits in New Zealand. It’s better to attempt this hike over two days, either staying in the hut or freedom camping nearby. You can take a look at a company like Intercity that has daily busses to and from Tekapo to Mount Cook Village. By using this website you agree to our, Advertise your business on New Zealand's most popular travel guide, full guide to the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, one of the most scenic bridges in the country, 10 Essential Pitstops for Your South Canterbury Road Trip, 10 Historical Places in Northland You Can’t Miss. For about 2 hours the steep climb to the Red Tarn will test your endurance. Mount Cook National Park is the best hiking area in New Zealand. There are not too many accommodation options to choose from but below would be some of the main choices when deciding where to stay. Your email address will not be published. In the next section I give a bit more detail on each hike in particular. Cook National park. The insanely good views from my camp spot at sunrise after camping alongside the Mueller Hut. This is because there is only one 55 km long road that goes to and from Mount Cook, and the nearest towns are even … In this article, we are going to share the 6 best hikes in Mount Cook National Park. From Mount Cook Village you can reach 4 different trails. If you're looking for the best trails in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, we've got you covered. Once in the village you can walk, bike, or maybe even hitchhike to some of the trailheads. This guide will go over each of the Mt Cook Hikes to give you a better idea of what types of trails are offered in the area. If you do not have your own car, the next best option is to take a bus to get you to Mount Cook Village. So if you are looking to get in those views then the Red Tarns is for you. A guided New Zealand glacier tour is a great way to explore the Tasman Glacier, a beautiful part of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Many people complete the hike in one day but you also have the option to complete it in 2 days with an overnight in the hut itself. » Click on the links to book your spot in advance and take a look at some other Mount Cook tour options before you go. then try and be as flexible as you can when deciding when to take part of these trails. The 3.5-hour return journey leads through the dramatic Southern Alps, across swaying suspension bridges and over wooden boardwalks, and ends at an iceberg-speckled glacial lake. So even if you do not have a car in the village, you can still easily take part of these by just stepping out of your front door. Governors Bush Walk (easy) This 1-hour circuit climbs up to a lookout point overlooking Wakefield … By using this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and the terms of use within it. Well sign up and join the TripTins community to receive monthly newsletters that will recap everything you need to know to make that trip as memorable as can be. If staying for just a day or staying for a week, there are plenty of trails to keep you busy. You can rent bikes in town once you arrive. The final 3 trails can be accessed from the Tasman Glacier Car Park, a 15 minute drive from Mount Cook Village. November, of course, if you want those Mt Cook lilies are blossoming in your pics! There is everything from mountain hikes to valley trails to bush walks, so no matter what you are looking for Mount Cook National Park will have something for you. Starting in the White Horse Hill camping area, the Hooker Valley Track is one of the most popular hikes in the valley.… You can decide to do the Tasman Lake track as a standalone hike or add it onto the the previous hike. The walk is part through thick pine forest and a part through typical New Zealand farmland. Reaching the hut is no simple walk in the park, demanding an ascent of over one thousand meters in just over five kilometers. 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