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Where to Take the Best Photos in Mount Cook National Park

Last updated : November 5th, 2019

hooker valley lake is one of the best south island destinations

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There are many popular places to take amazing photos in Mount Cook National Park. This blog is all about where to go to get those incredible pictures and how to get there!

Where to Take the Best Photos in Mount Cook

Mount Cook National Park is arguably one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. High snow-covered peaks tower over the huge glaciers below. Those glaciers then feed turquoise water into the many river systems which flow into the beautiful Lake Pukaki.

For many, an adventure through this remote part of New Zealand leaves them breathless. It is memories like these that are worth both capturing and sharing with others – and the best way to do this is through beautiful photos!

Of course, there are plenty of spots to get that amazing shot and finding your own unique one is so rewarding. But, if you’ve ever wondered where some of the best photos spots in Mount Cook National Park are then this blog post will not only tell you but help you get there!

Related Read:   13 Best Things to do in Mount Cook National Park / Aoraki

Tasman Lake

The Tasman Lake is my favourite spot to watch the sunrise and capture spectacular images. The Lake supports icebergs almost all year round as the lake is fed from the adjacent glacier, the Tasman Glacier. Behind the glacier are beautiful snow covered peaks that reflect almost perfectly in the calm areas of the lake. To top it off, the sunrise behind these mountains can put on one beautiful show of beauty!
tasman lake is one of the best places to take a photo in mount cook
There is one other thing I love about this spot, it’s only a 15-minute walk! Yep, I said it. Both Bailey and I love long hikes but when it comes to getting up to watch the sunrise a 15-minute hike is ideal. Short walks with views like the ones at Tasman Lake are almost unheard of!

If you would like more information about the Tasman Lake hike including maps and tips on getting a great shot, check out our guide to the Tasman Lake!

tasman lake in mount cook national park is gorgeous

The Road to Mount Cook

Most of us have heard the saying “it’s about the journey, not the destination” but did you know it was first said in Mount Cook…well, not really but when you drive there for yourself you’ll think the same thing. Driving into Mount Cook is so beautiful that getting an amazing shot from the road is just as popular as the main attractions.

The best spot is located about 15 minutes out of town and in this spot Mount Cook stands smack bang in the middle of the road. The most amazing part of this photo spot is that with a little perspective trick you can make Mount Cook look huge as you dance, run, sit, or pose on the road.
the famous road to mount cook photo
Of course, I must say that standing in the middle of the road is not safe and you must do it at your own risk. However, the road to Mount Cook is long, and in this particular spot, flat so you can spot a car coming and have about one minute to walk off. Please be safe and use a spotter to spot cars!

We are writing a detailed post now on this exact spot with the photo trick very soon, so stay tuned!
one of the best places to take a photo is on the road to mount cook

Related Read:   Queenstown Photography - 11 BEST Places to Take Photos


Hooker Lake

The Hooker Valley trek is likely the most popular and most walked track in Mount Cook National Park. This short two-hour hike leads you through the Hooker Valley to the beautiful Hooker Lake.
hooker valley lake mount cook reflection photo
The Hooker Lake sits at the base of Mount Cook. Being the tallest mountain in New Zealand, it truly towers over you as you sit at the lake’s edge. Mount Cook’s huge size and sharp mitred peak make for some pretty amazing photos. To top it all of though, on a calm day Mount Cook reflects perfectly off the surface of the lake (providing it’s not frozen!)During the golden hours of sunset or sunrise, this place puts on a spectacular show. Just be prepared to walk in the dark with before or after!

We have written a complete guide to the Hooker Valley Track so check it out!

the hooker valley track is a great place to take photos


Mueller Hut or Sealy Tarns Track

The Mueller Hut is a small backcountry hut located high above Mount Cook National Park. To get there you must hike for between 3 to 6 hours (depending on the season) which includes over 2,000 steps. From the top, you will be rewarded with amazing views of Mount Cook, Hooker Lake, and the entire valley floor! It’s that rewarding view that lets you step back and see it’s beauty from afar.
view from the mueller hut in mount cook national park
The Sealy Tarns track is the first part of the hike ( the 2,000 steps) to the Mueller Hut and for the most part, gives the same views with half of the hiking. For this reason, I have included it as it’s the best option for those not up for the long hike to the Mueller Hut or for those short on time.

If you are ready to tackle the 2,000 stairs, be sure to read our blog about the Sealy Tarns Track first!

the sealy tarns track is one of the best photo spots in mount cook


Scenic Flight

Last but not least on this list is the amazing photo opportunities from the sky! From a helicopter or plane, you can explore and see places in Mount Cook you can’t any other way!
view from a helicopter in mount cook national park
From the sky, the entire west coast becomes your playground. You can take in views of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers while flying right past Mount Cook’s huge peak! It’s as picturesque and breathtaking as it gets and in one scenic flight that’s worth every penny!

We have a completed a blog post on our scenic helicopter ride with many more photos and info on how to pick the right one!

amazing mountain peks from above in mount cook

Related Read:   Ultimate Guide to the Mueller Hut Hike

Mount Cook National Park will leave a lasting impression but capturing these moments to share is the best way to keep the experience with you forever! The 5 spots mentioned above are just the beginning of an experience that will have you both breathless and speechless.

Mount Cook’s charm has earned it a top spot in New Zealand’s most beautiful attractions and it’s really not hard to see why!

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About the Author - destinationlesstravel

We are Dan and Bailey, just your typical thrill-seeking travelers! You will likely find us hiking, scuba diving, catching public transport, or just drinking beer at a hostel.

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