I’ve been dreaming of visiting Aoraki Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand for the past several years and suffice to say, it lived up to all expectations. A must do hike on every visitor’s list to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is the Hooker Valley Track. It was one of our favorite hikes during our time spent on the South Island and one I’d highly recommend as it’s both easy and breath takingly beautiful. The swing bridges, a novelty to most Americans, were super fun too!
Sealy Tarns was another hike we thourghly enjoyed as it’s a bit more challenging. The views from the top are well worth the steep asent up 1795ft in 1.8 miles mostly via wooden staircases built into the side of the mountain.
Thankfully the views will have you taking breaks for photos pretty regularly although they do keep getting better the higher you go. You can take this same track all the way up to Mueller Hut, Sealy Tarns marks the half way point. We didn’t go to Mueller Hut on this trip but it’s something I’d like to do the next time we’re on the South Island. We don’t often plan to go back to international destinations but I quickly fell in love with New Zealand and can’t wait for our next trip back to that amazing island.
We stayed overnight in Mt. Cook Village and while expensive and hard to book, I’d highly recommend it. We stayed at Aoraki Court in a two bedroom unit and the above photo was the view from our windows in the living room. I woke up extra early to watch the sunrise over the mountains and it was pure magic to be surrounded by such beauty while sipping my coffee in pajamas.
A fun hike to explore the beech forest is the Governors Bush Walk. It leaves straight from the village and is an easy 1 hour loop trail. We saw an all black fan tail and plenty of the more common variety along with a great number of the endemic plants. The ferns were plentiful and of particular interest. Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a true gem of a park and I only wish we had more time to spend there but I suppose we were just saving some things for our next trip!