Is unmatched alpine scenery, high mountains, rugged land of ice and rock your thing? Then you are in the right place at the base of Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Put your hiking boots on and enjoy spectacular views. Read our top 5 activities in and around Mount Cook village.
Aoraki - Mount Cook
You think the view from Lake Pukaki close to Twizel is already magnificent? Don’t forget to drive the 55 km to Mount Cook village. Spend at least a day here to explore the surroundings of this tallest mountain of the country. Would you like to stay a little longer? See our top 5 list of activities in this area.
Hooker Valley Track
Start at dawn! It can get very busy on this track during the summer season. So beat the crowds and go early. Or choose a late afternoon start when everybody is getting back to there campsite, hotel or motel.
It is a 3-hour return track to the base of Mount Cook. The trail follows the Hooker River over three swing bridges and ends at the Hooker Glacier terminal face. Big ice rocks are floating around. Care for a swim? We can tell you it is very very cold. A great time to do the track is in November to see the Mt Cook Lilies in bloom. The views up to Aoraki/Mount Cook are majestic.
Scenic Helicopter Flight
Do you like a bit of adventure? Book a flight around Mount Cook. You will get an aerial tour you will always remember. You can even make a snow landing atop Tasman Glacier. Here you can enjoy magnificent views of Aoraki/Mt Cook. Breath in the fresh air, take some amazing pictures and fly back through the Burnett Mountains and over de Mackenzie Basin. It will be a day to remember.
We recommend one of these great tours.
Sealy Tarns Track
You may call this track the ‘stairway to heaven’ with its 2200 steps. The trail leads you straight up to the freshwater lakes of Sealy Tarns. Yes, the track is steep and long and you will probably need a bit of endurance, but it is well worth the effort.
After a 600m climb, the spectacular views will reward you. Catch your breath at one of the tarns and smell the great alpine air. Do not forget to enjoy the abundance of alpine flowers in spring and summer. The track starts close to the Aoraki/Mt Cook visitor center or at the White Horse Hill campsite (great spot). Read more about the track on the website of the DOC.
Stargazing Tour Mount Cook Area
The darkness of the nightsky around Mount Cook is unbeatable. For that reason the Aoraki region is part of an International Dark Sky Reserve. Meaning it is one of the best places to stargaze in the world. You can join a tour from the Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook Village.
You’ll be taken to a stargazing facility away from the artificial lights of the village where you’ll get the chance to look at the night’s sky through powerful telescopes. Every clear night is a unique experience with stars, planets, the moon and satellites constantly moving as our earth orbits in space.
Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks
Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier View
From the car park, walk past the Blue Lakes shelter and continue up past the Blue Lakes to a viewpoint on the moraine wall. There are good views of the lower Haupapa/Tasman Glacier and lake, icebergs and the mountains at the head of the valley. The track is gradual incline with some rock steps.
Tasman Glacier Lake
This walk branches off the Blue Lakes Track just past the Blue Lakes shelter and leads to a viewpoint of the glacier’s terminal lake. This is a very easy and great walk for families.