Sealy Tarns Track

Sealy Tarns Track

Mount / Mt Cook National Park

97%

Details

22 Rankers Reviews

20 Face-to-Face

33 Walking

3 Mount Cook

Maps

Photos

Sealy Tarns
The scenery will take your breath away

Information

4 km return | 3 hours return

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.

Timing

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.

Access

The start of the track is signposted from White Horse Hill carpark at the end of Hooker Valley Road.

Track

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.

Geology

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.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieMount Cook

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Reviews

Showing 13 reviews of 22.

Raphaele's avatar

Raphaele

Ranking: 10/10

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.

Reviewed 3 months ago

Matthew's avatar

Matthew

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

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.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 74 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Katarina's avatar

Katarina

Austria

Ranking: 10/10

Really cool but a lot of stairs! The track is basically a vertical stairway but the views are amazing! Highly recommended.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Sebasitian's avatar

Sebasitian

Austria

Ranking: 10/10

Very nice short walk. Three hours return. Amazing views. Track got really busy but was totally worth it!

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Gilbert Keiser's avatar

Gilbert Keiser

France

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful hikes, amazing landscapes and great weather.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in February 2017

MARK CURPHEY's avatar

MARK CURPHEY

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Steep steps, over 1800 of them. Great workout and the views make up for the touch climb. Amazing scenery.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Charlotte Leong's avatar

Charlotte Leong

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

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%

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Katrina's avatar

Katrina

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

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.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Iris Gigacher 's avatar

Iris Gigacher

Austria

Ranking: 9/10

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!

Reviewed almost 3 years ago and experienced in November 2015

Cody Stewart's avatar

Cody Stewart

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

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.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Lucas Anderson's avatar

Lucas Anderson

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Fairly steep and taxing walk, views are worth it at the top (and en route).

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Max Seikowsky's avatar

Max Seikowsky

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Hard, beautiful view, great photo spot.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Kelsey Austin's avatar

Kelsey Austin

United States

Ranking: 7/10

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.

Reviewed about 3 years ago and experienced in December 2015

DOC Managed

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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner

Love Christchurch