Red Tarns Track

Red Tarns Track

Aoraki/Mount / Mt Cook Village

99%

Details

12 Rankers Reviews

8 Face-to-Face

7 Walking

1 Mount Cook

Maps

Photos

Viewpoint

Information

2.3 km return | 2 hours return

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.

Timing

Best in the morning or late evening.

Access

The start of the track is signposted from the public shelter on Bowen Drive.

Track

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.

Flora

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.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieMount Cook

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Contact

Reviews

Richard Clapton's avatar

Richard Clapton

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Quite a tough climb but amazing views along the way and a beautiful plateau at the top. We went in winter and there was a fresh layer of snow and the ponds were frozen. Really lovely.

Reviewed 3 months ago

Linda QLD's avatar

Linda QLD

Ranking: 10/10

A beautiful winter walk. 2 hours round trip. Lots of steps. Steady climb up on a well-maintained track. Need to be medium fitness. Spectacular views all the way up.

Reviewed 5 months ago

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Ludovic Bonneau's avatar

Ludovic Bonneau

France

Ranking: 8/10

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.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago and experienced in March 2017

Carmen Stanow's avatar

Carmen Stanow

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing view over Mt Cook. It gets pretty steep, but you get rewarded! Not crowded!

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2016

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Samuel Michalak's avatar

Samuel Michalak

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

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.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Meghan Maloney's avatar

Meghan Maloney

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

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.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

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Hannah Stiles's avatar

Hannah Stiles

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Some steps but so worth it!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Jonathan Foskett's avatar

Jonathan Foskett

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

A big walk up over 1200 stairs but with breathtaking views over the Mt Cook area. Be prepared for a lot of stairs!

Reviewed over 3 years ago

James Webster's avatar

James Webster

Ranking: 7/10

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.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

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Bottoms's avatar

Bottoms

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Very steep climb, well maintained path, views worth while.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Melanie Bielefeld's avatar

Melanie Bielefeld

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Very very......strenuous - but on the op idyllic, picturesque views. Marvellous! Our favourite!!

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in November 2009

Gemma Morris's avatar

Gemma Morris

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Great views, lots of steps. Mt Cok, Mt sefton and Footstool set out in front of you 2hr return.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in November 2009

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Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner