22 Rankers Reviews
3 Mount Cook
This is like Mueller Hut Route, but the ‘lite’ version. Still a massive grunt up thousands of steps. Still lots of awe-inspiring views. But without that last killer bit to the top.
This walk can only be attempted when there is no snow. Check with DoC at Mount Cook before embarking on the walk and be sure to register intentions. Be sure also to say you have arrived BACK safely.
This is an alpine walk, and should only be attempted in fine weather. Conditions change very quickly up here, so make sure you check weather with DoC and heed their advice.
The start of the track is signposted from White Horse Hill carpark at the end of Hooker Valley Road.
Follow the signs from the back of the carpark and weave through the low forest. Prepare yourself for the ascent of over 2000 steps. Every so often, the forest clears and you can catch your breath gazing back at the breath-taking terminal lake of the Mueller Glacier, the medial moraines and the Hooker Valley. Not to mention Mount Cook.
There’s a short detour to a long bench by the Sealy Tarns, the natural stopping off place for refreshment. The cold waters of the tarns are rejuvenating for a face wash.
Return via the same track.
Sealy Tarns occupy poorly drained hollows on a flatter sections of land. Wind ripples the water with every gust. In periods of calm however, especially in the early morning, the glassy surface reflects rock and sky.
South Island ▷ Mount Cook - MacKenzie ▷ Mount Cook
Showing 13 reviews of 22.
This a stepped track all the way up to the sealy tarns. The track is very demanding especially when it's hot - the sun is just brutal and there's almost no shade along the way. We did the track between 11 am and 2 pm which in hindsight was very bad timing. The views were still worth it but next time I would start early in the morning.
A steep climb up a stepped walkway (est 10,000 steps) leads to a small alpine lake and picnic table cited beneath the Huddlestone Glacier with fantastic views of Mt Cook and the valley. Not for the very unfit though the views from halfway are still sublime.
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Really cool but a lot of stairs! The track is basically a vertical stairway but the views are amazing! Highly recommended.
Very nice short walk. Three hours return. Amazing views. Track got really busy but was totally worth it!
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Beautiful hikes, amazing landscapes and great weather.
Steep steps, over 1800 of them. Great workout and the views make up for the touch climb. Amazing scenery.
Approximately three hours return (not including photo time at the top!). Moderate/difficult climb up, but made easier with steps rather than loose gravel. The views are worth the climb up, 100%
Feb 2106: If you think the carpark view is gorgeous at 760m elevation, just wait until you get to the top of the track. STUNNING views on a clear day! But nothing in life is free - you will pay for this view the next day - 1800+ stairs will challenge your legs and your fitness. A dip in the alpine lake at the summit is a chilly reward.
Jan 2018: Went at a much busier time of year and had to contend with a lot more people on the track. Pays to go nice and early if it is a sunny day. Those that started late had to contend with almost unbearable temperatures and no reprieve from the sun. There are no facilities at the tarn - no toilet, no shelter, no tap - please be prepared! Too many people at the top appeared to be lacking in food, water and sun protection.
This is a great compromise if you expected to do the Mueller Hut but cannot due to the weather conditions - you still get great views of Mt Cook and the Glaciers. The track nearly almost consists of steep steps!
The 2200 step track was a great alternative to going all the way up to Mueller's hut on a day when it was too windy to do so. Spectacular views for a relatively mild track.
Fairly steep and taxing walk, views are worth it at the top (and en route).
Hard, beautiful view, great photo spot.
The most difficult walk directly up to a ridge but on a clear day, spectacular views of Mt Cook and Mt Sefton. A very moving experience to be up with such large mountains.
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 😍