Less frequented than the Sealy Tarns Track, this rise of 400 vertical metres gives a real treat on a good day. The big peaks reflect off the still lake waters during early morning calm.
Best in the morning or late evening.
The start of the track is signposted from the public shelter on Bowen Drive.
Follow the sealed walkway and cross over Black Birch Stream via the bridge. The track now climbs steadily with steps and occasional rocky sections. A stand of original podocarp beech forest is nestled next to a strategic bench.
Views of the Sefton Range and Mount Cook open up steadily behind you as you reach Red Tarns. There’s an orientation dial and information board, before a boarded walkway does a lap of the small tarns, which glow red in the summer months due to the presence of an algae.
The track continues up the scree to reach the summit of Mount Sebastopol.
By the first bench is the last remnant of the podocarp- beech forest which once grew all over the area. Farmers set fire to the area in huge conflagrations, attempting to create seed bed for European grasses. The practice stopped in 1953, when the National Park was created.
A red pondweed Potamogeton cheesmanii blooms in the summer when water temperatures are warmer.
South Island ▷ Mount Cook - MacKenzie ▷ Mount Cook
After climbing a lot of steps, the view is beautiful. You can see the Red Tarns who are hidden behind the view and you can rest eating your picnic.
Amazing view over Mt Cook. It gets pretty steep, but you get rewarded! Not crowded!
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About two hours, it is steep but worth it. Good little workout with fantastic views from above and to Mt Cook, not crowded! Mid October.
Awesome walk - very steep and lots of steps but the views are very rewarding. Especially getting reflections in the tarns towards Mt Cook and Mt Sefton. 2 hour return.
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Some steps but so worth it!
A big walk up over 1200 stairs but with breathtaking views over the Mt Cook area. Be prepared for a lot of stairs!
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Tough going stepped walk. 2 hour return, views good but don't really change on the way up. Do if you have time but don't sacrifice Hooker Valley.
Very steep climb, well maintained path, views worth while.
Very very......strenuous - but on the op idyllic, picturesque views. Marvellous! Our favourite!!
Great views, lots of steps. Mt Cok, Mt sefton and Footstool set out in front of you 2hr return.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍