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The Hooker Valley Track | Mount Cook National Park

The Hooker Valley Track is an easy walk for all fitness levels and is very picturesque. Filled with swing bridges, mountains, glaciers, avalanches and icebergs – it is a must do day walk.

Where else can you get it all in one day?

New Zealand is beautiful and filled of so much adventure. The Hooker Valley Track sums it all up and is well worth the 10km stroll. It is easily doable with the family, so take your camera, pack your lunch and head out for some breath-taking scenery.

How to get there:

The track starts at the White Horse Hill Campground and car park at the end of Hooker Valley Road.

From Lake Tekapo, head north-west on State Highway 8 for about 48kms. Then turn right onto Mount Cook Road and follow Lake Pukaki around for roughly 54kms. Turn right onto Hooker Valley Road and park at White Horse Hill Campground.

There are toilets at the Campground and about halfway along the track.

We camped overnight in our Campervan (did a 2-week holiday in South Island) at White Horse Hill Campground so we could head out early to catch the sunrise. The van site was unpowered and it was COLD! It was our first night in the campervan so took us a while to sort everything out in the dark.  

The facilities at the campground were OK. Cold water and toilets. Nothing fancy but all part of the experience.

Walking The Hooker Valley Track:

Note: The Hooker Valley Track took us 2 hours in total. One hour from the Van to the Hooker Lake and the same return. The track is 10km return.

We started walking at 5.20am to get to the Hooker Lake for sunrise. It was absolutely freezing in mid-September 2020 when we did this!

The walk is very straight forward and easy. It is relatively flat the whole way and it a well-formed track, so a good walk for everyone – kids included.

There are three swing bridges that form part of the Hooker Valley Track.  

The first swing bridge crosses Mueller Lake. If you listen close enough you can hear the rumbling of avalanches on Mount Sefton. We saw many avalanches tumbling down before they crashed into the Mueller Glacier below. It was pretty epic.

You will then come across the second swing bridge which takes you over the Hooker River. The track then winds between old moraine ridges and humps before changing to a wooden boardwalk through open tussock land.

Finally, the third swing bridge will take you to East Hooker and the source of the Hooker River.

You will then arrive at the Hooker Lake with majestic views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Southern Alps.

Like I said it was freezing when we were there. There were icebergs in the Hooker Lake. The morning was quite overcast and windy, so the sunrise was not so great, but the walk was worth every step.

We had no gloves…. Rooky error, our fingertips were literally freezing off! We did however pack our coffee maker and gas cooker, so we set up and made a steaming hot coffee to warm up before exploring more of the surroundings.

There were not many people around when we completed the walk for sunrise, but many people were starting it once we returned to the campsite around 7.30am.

The whole walk is very picturesque, so take your camera and get out there and explore our beautiful country. 

Much love,
Sez x

P.S. – you can always check out my Instagram page or Facebook. I post regularly on Instagram.

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