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17 Best Things to do in Mount Cook National Park / Aoraki

17 Best Things to do in Mount Cook National Park / Aoraki

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Mount Cook National Park is one of the most popular destinations on the South Island of New Zealand, and I can see why. After visiting Mount Cook for the first time, I just couldn’t wait to head back! Fast forward to now, and I’ve visited the national park countless times. In fact, I believe it should be a part of everyone’s New Zealand itinerary!

For the average visitor, there are actually tons of things to do in Mount Cook National Park. From scenic walks to helicopter rides to enjoying an amazing dinner with a view, Mount Cook National Park is full of fun activities. It’s a place all tourists should visit for at least a couple of days!

This blog not only includes all the best things to do in Mount Cook National Park but also lots of other info, such as where to stay, helpful tips to visit, and more!

Don’t have time to read the full article? These are my absolute favorite things to do in Mount Cook:

  1. Hike the Hooker Valley track
  2. Go on a scenic flight
  3. Spend the night at the Mueller Hut
  4. Go Skydiving over the Southern Alps
  5. See the Tasman Glacier

About Mount Cook National Park

Hooker Lake and Mount Cook as seen from the Mueller Hut Route
Hooker Lake and Mount Cook as seen from the Mueller Hut Route

Mount Cook National Park is located on New Zealand’s South Island, about 2 hours from the town of Lake Tekapo. It’s just over 3 hours drive from Queenstown and 4 hours from Christchurch. It would be a long drive, but it’s still possible to visit on a day trip from Christchurch. The park spans 722 square kilometers (279 square miles) and is home to 8 of the 12 largest glaciers in New Zealand. These massive glaciers make up a whopping 40% of the national park!

Aoraki, or Mount Cook as it’s more commonly known, is New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3,724 meters (12,218 ft) above sea level. Aoraki is the traditional Maori name for Mount Cook.

Mount Cook Village is the only town within the national park. In Mount Cook Village, there are a select few accommodation options and restaurants. You can also find a visitor center as well as a DOC (Department of Conservation) office.

17 Things to do in Mount Cook National Park / Aoraki

1. Hike the Hooker Valley Track

Bailey stands on the edge of the Hooker Lake in Mount Cook National Park
Hooker Lake!
Bailey poses for a photo along the Hooker Valley Track in New Zealand
The views along the trail!

The Hooker Valley Track is probably the most popular hike in Mount Cook National Park! To say the least, it’s simply a stunning hike. The hike is also one of the easiest in the national park. At only 10 kilometers return (6.2 miles), the trail is flat and suitable for almost all fitness levels.

Some of the highlights on the Hooker Valley Track include views of Mueller Lake, Mueller Glacier, Hooker Lake, and Mount Cook. Some other highlights on the trail are crossing three suspension bridges over the Hooker River and walking on the famous Hooker Valley Boardwalk.

The Hooker Valley Track starts from the White Horse Hill Campground in the national park just outside of Mount Cook Village. From the parking lot where the walk starts, allow about 2-4 hours (return) depending on your fitness level.

If you want to visit when it is the least busy, I recommend going for sunrise! One time when I hiked the Hooker Valley Track at sunrise, I pretty much had the entire trail to myself. I didn’t see another person until I was almost back at the parking lot!

If you only do one hike in Mount Cook, be sure to make it the Hooker Valley Track. To me, it’s the best hike in Mount Cook National Park and one of the best hikes on the entire South Island!

For more information, check out our blog post on the Hooker Valley Track!

2. Enjoy a Scenic Helicopter Ride

View of the Southern Alps as seen from a helicopter tour in mount cook National Park
What a view!
Mount Cook as seen from a helicopter flying towards the mountain
Mount Cook!

I recently went on a scenic flight in Mount Cook and it was incredible! The views from the air were out of this world and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

Some of the highlights I saw on my 50-minute scenic helicopter ride included Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, flying past Mount Cook, and landing on the Tasman Glacier. In my opinion, if you’re going to do a scenic flight in New Zealand, then Mount Cook is the place!

The downside to a scenic helicopter ride is the price tag. For those on a tight budget, this experience may not be possible. But if you can afford it, a helicopter ride is one of the best things to do in Mount Cook and a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s worth every penny!

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the video of my flight below!

Scenic flight prices vary based on the length of your flight. The shortest flight available is 20 minutes and the longest is 50 minutes.

So, for budget travelers, I highly suggest this 20-minute Mount Cook Alpine Vista Helicopter Flight. Although you only get 20 minutes of flying time, the tour is actually longer because you do an alpine landing. They also offer hotel pick up and drop off. That’s very reasonable for $337 NZD per person.

If you can spend a bit more I highly suggest you do. For example, you can get over double the flying time for less than double the price on this epic 40-minute scenic helicopter flight. Because the flight is longer, you’ll get to explore more of the Southern Alps and have time to take it all in. This flight costs $592 NZD and includes hotel pick up and drop off.

Of course, I loved the 50-minute flight I did, so if you want to play it safe and go with the best tour in the park – book the same tour I did. Even with the $780 NZD price tag, it was so worth it!

You can also go heli-skiing, heli-hiking, and glacier trekking with your scenic flight but this is generally booked separately (and costs more.)

For more info, check out our out blog about how to choose a helicopter ride in Mount Cook National Park.

3. Hike to the Mueller Hut

The Mueller Hut in summer in New Zealand
The Mueller Hut in summer in New Zealand

The Mueller Hut is an alpine backcountry hut located in Mount Cook National Park that sits at an elevation of over 1,800 meters above sea level. It’s one of the most popular huts in New Zealand because of the stunning views and location near the Mueller Glacier.

I’ve stayed at the Mueller Hut 6 times now and consider myself a local (don’t tell the DOC.) It’s honestly the best mountain hut in New Zealand!

The hike to the Mueller Hut starts from the White Horse Hill Campground and climbs 1,042 meters in elevation over 5.5 kilometers! Although this trail is more difficult than other popular hikes in the park, it’s so worth it!

If you’re coming to Mount Cook for an awesome adventure, then you really should consider hiking to (and staying the night at) the Mueller Hut.

A lady hikes along a rocky area towards the Mueller Hut
it’s a tough climb!

In winter, you cannot book the hut in advance and must buy your hut ticket on the morning of your hike at the DOC office in Mount Cook Village. Winter conditions can also be dangerous and you must check the current avalanche risk at the DOC office too. You will also require crampons and an ice ax. These can be rented in the park from Alpine Guides for $25 NZD.

In the summer hiking season (mid-November to the end of April), you must book the Mueller Hut in advance (passes sell out in the summer.) It is still important to check current warnings at the DOC office, especially early on in the summer season.

To spend a night in the Mueller Hut, you will have to pay $45 per adult and $22.50 per child.

If hiking the trail on your own sounds too challenging, then consider joining a guided tour, especially if you’re planning to hike in the winter.

If you would like more information on one of the best hikes in Mount Cook, check out our blog about hiking to the Mueller Hut!

4. Walk to Kea Point

Mueller Hut Trail in Mount Cook, New Zealand one of the best places to visit on the south island
The Mueller Lake!

Kia Point is another viewpoint accessed by a trail from the White Horse Hill Campground. The views from the end of the trail are amazing and it’s one way to see just how large the mountains are around you.

From this viewpoint, it’s also common to see avalanches falling from the steep mountains that surround Mueller Lake and the glacier. You’ll most likely need to visit at the end of winter/ early summer to see this though.

The trail is only 20 minutes one way and finishes at a viewpoint that overlooks Mueller Lake and Mueller Glacier. This trail is very short and well-maintained, making it accessible for most people. For that reason, it’s really a must-do activity in Mount Cook.

5. Go Stargazing in a Dark Sky Reserve

The Milky Way over Mount Cook in New Zealand
The Milky Way over Mount Cook in New Zealand

Mount Cook National Park is part of the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. This 4,300 km2 region is protected from artificial light pollution and is the only Dark Sky Reserve in the Southern Hemisphere. The purpose of the Dark Sky Reserve is to allow the Mount John Observatory to look into space without light pollution.

But for you, it means you can venture out of your hotel and witness the stars as you have never seen before. Within the national park, there is very little light pollution, so you don’t have to venture far to see the stars.

In my opinion, you should head out a little ways from the village to White Horse Hill Campsite or to the Tasman Glacier parking lot. Out there, you will be able to properly adjust your eyes and see tons of stars on a clear night.

If you’d prefer to see the stars through a telescope, you can actually book this Crater Experience at Cowan’s Observatory, which starts nearby in Lake Tekapo. On the tour, you’ll get to see the stars like never before through the Cowan’s Observatory’s telescopes all with an expert guide. It’s such an interesting tour and one of the best things to do in Lake Tekapo!

6. Visit Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

Statue of Sir Edmund Hillary at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre in Mount Cook
Statue of Sir Edmund Hillary!
Museum at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Museum at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is a tribute to one of the world’s greatest explorers as well as the region of Aoraki/Mount Cook itself. Sir Edmund Hillary, along with his partner and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, were the first people in the world to summit Mount Everest – the world’s highest mountain peak!

Within the center, you can explore the museum and read about how Sir Edmund Hillary used Mount Cook National Park to prepare and train for the Mt Everest summit climb. Also within the visitor center is a theater that showcases different films about the region and Sir Edmund Hillary.

The entrance to the theater is $20 NZD per person and includes unlimited viewings for 48 hours as well as entrance to the museum. 

7. Take the Famous “Mount Cook Road Photo”

The Mount Cook road photo
The road to Mount Cook Village! Look at Mt Cook in the background!

There aren’t many photos in Mount Cook as iconic as the “Mount Cook road photo”. This stunning shot is taken on the road into Mount Cook, about 15 minutes from the village. From this specific spot, it appears as if Mount Cook sits at the end of the road, and with the right camera technique, it appears huge!

Finding the exact spot can be hard so I actually wrote a blog specifically on where this iconic photo is taken from and how to take it! You can check out my blog about how to take the famous Mount Cook Road Photo!

Related read: For the most Instagrammable places in Mount Cook National Park, check out our blog on where to take the best photos in Mount Cook!

8. Enjoy Dinner with a View

Views from the window of The Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook
Views from the window of The Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook

The Hermitage Hotel has one of the best views in Mount Cook Village and the food in their restaurant is delicious! For this reason, it’s only natural to want to spend an evening in a restaurant enjoying a nice meal with stunning views.

In the summer months, it doesn’t get dark in Mount Cook until around 9 pm, so even if you have a late dinner, you can still enjoy a magical sunset! If dinner is not part of your itinerary, then consider going for a coffee on their outside deck during the day. It’s a great place to relax in between hikes!

For a quick bite, try one of their homemade meat pies – they are so delicious! 

9. Go skydiving!

Skydive Mt Cook
Photo credit: Skydive Mt Cook

One of the best things I’ve ever done was skydiving! And what better place to go than over Mount Cook National Park with views of New Zealand’s most impressive mountains and glaciers?! You’ll see gorgeous Lake Pukaki from above and of course, Mt Cook!

Skydive Mount Cook offers three different skydive experiences in Mount Cook Village. Their cheapest skydive is this one from 9,000 ft with around 20 seconds of freefall for $329 NZD. That might not sound like a lot of time but it feels like a lifetime up there!

For something a little higher, opt for the 13,000 ft jump with 45 seconds of freefall for $399 NZD. That gives you more than double the freefall time!

Or if you want the craziest and most memorable experience, do the 15,000 ft jump with more than a minute of freefall time! This one will set you back $499 NZD.

No matter which jump you choose, skydiving in Mount Cook National Park is sure to be an adrenaline rush and an adventure to remember!

10. Hike the Sealy Tarns Track

hooker Lake and Mount Cook as seen from the Sealy Tarns Trail
Hooker Lake and Mount Cook as seen from the Sealy Tarns Trail

One of the first hikes I did in Mount Cook National Park was the Sealy Tarns Track. The trail itself is actually the first half of the Mueller Hut Trail. This stunning hike climbs over 2,200 stairs (an actual staircase) and 650 meters in elevation to reach the Sealy Tarn (an alpine lake.)

While the Sealy Tarns Track is challenging, it isn’t actually that long and can be done in a couple of hours. The track starts in the same place as the Hooker Valley Track at the White Horse Hill carpark and campground. From the parking lot, you can follow the signs to the Mueller Hut or Sealy Tarn.

The entire trail to the top is well maintained and is almost completely made up of stairs. It is grueling, but the views are so worth it! In the summer months, I recommend hiking in the morning as there is limited shade along the trail.

For more information, read our complete guide to hiking the Sealy Tarns Track!

11. Visit Tasman Lake Viewpoint 

Tasman Glacier Viewpoint walk
The Tasman Lake in the early hours on a winter morning

The Tasman Lake Viewpoint rivals the Hooker Lake viewpoint when it comes to spectacular views in Mount Cook. From the edge of the lake, you can look out at the Tasman Glacier and also spot icebergs floating in the Tasman Lake.

I have spent many early mornings here watching the sunrise from behind the mountains and it’s one of my favorite things to do in Mount Cook.

The walk to the Tasman Lake Viewpoint is short and only takes around 20 minutes or so from the Tasman Glacier carpark. To me, this makes it the best short walk in Mount Cook!

From Mount Cook Village, take Tasman Valley Road to the end where you reach the carpark. From there you can either walk to the Tasman Lake, Tasman River, the Blue Lakes, or the Tasman Glacier Viewpoint. I recommend doing all of them! The trails are all very short and well signposted.

If you want to visit the lookout pictured above, follow the signs to the Tasman River. For more information, you can read our Tasman Lake Viewpoint blog article.

12. Glacier Kayaking in Tasman Lake or Mueller Lake

The Tasman Lake at sunrise!
Us, at Tasman Lake at sunrise!

From the Tasman Lake Viewpoint, you can see the Tasman Glacier but it’s rather far away – and the same goes for the Mueller Lake Viewpoint. If you want to get a closer look, then a great option is a glacier kayaking tour on the lakes. It’s an awesome activity in Mount Cook, and on these tours, you can paddle out to the glacier and get a much closer look with the added safety of a professional guide.

Kayaking tours in Mount Cook aren’t cheap, though and start at $250 NZD per person, but the tours do run from between 4 to 6 hours. You must be 15 years and older to participate and there are a minimum number of people required to secure a tour.

You can book your tour with Glacier Kayaking in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.

Regardless of the price, this is still one of the best and most adventurous things to do in Mount Cook.

13. Go Hiking Around Mount Cook Village

Views of the valley in mount Cook National Park
Views of the valley in mount Cook National Park

Behind Mount Cook Village, there are actually a few hiking trails that almost no one knows about. These trails are very short but still worth checking out if you’re looking for an easy thing to do in Mount Cook around your hotel.

There are two main trails that start from two different carparks in town. One leads to the Red Tarns and the other to a Governors Bush Walk.

The easiest way to find the trails is to ask at the visitor center or download this brochure by the DOC that shows all of the different hiking trails in Mount Cook National Park.

14. Drive the Road to Mount Cook and Visit Lake Pukaki

Views of Mount Cook from the Lake Tekapo viewpoint
Views of Mount Cook from the Lake Tekapo viewpoint

As you drive into Mount Cook National Park on the main highway you will start to realize just how stunning the area is. Along this road, there are so many awesome places to stop. From the road, you can take amazing photos of Lake Pukaki and its blue water that is so famous.

Aside from checking out Lake Pukaki, there are also a few small tarns along the road that make for awesome reflection photos of Mount Cook. Although it sounds simple, this is literally one of the best things to do in Mount Cook!

The drive from Highway 8 to the Mount Cook Village takes around 45 minutes, but if you plan on stopping then allow over an hour. The many scenic roads in New Zealand make renting a campervan and doing an epic road trip so worth it!

15. Go Camping

A NZ Motorhome hire at night in a freedom camping spot
Camping under the stars!

Remember how I said accommodation can be hard to find in Mount Cook? Well, why not forget about staying in a hotel and camp under the stars instead?

While freedom camping is not allowed in Mount Cook National Park, you can at White Horse Hill Campground for cheap. This campground is operated by the DOC and has basic facilities including flush toilets and potable water. For $15 per person a night, you can set up a tent in one of the most scenic places in the world!

You must book a campsite at White Horse Hill Campground online in advance.

If you want a fancier stay, consider Glentanner Holiday Park just outside of Mount Cook National Park. Although more expensive, they have both powered and non-powered campsites with hot showers, a communal kitchen, a BBQ area, and more.

If you have a self-contained certified campervan or motorhome, you can only freedom camp in certain areas outside of Mount Cook National Park. Although a bit of a drive, Lake Alexandrina is a great freedom camping spot!

16. Swim at the Blue Lakes

one of the blue lakes in mounta cool national park
Would you swim here?

The Blue Lakes is another beautiful attraction in Mount Cook National Park. From the same carpark as Tasman Lake, you can follow signs to walk up to the moraine wall, which offers a stunning view of the lakes from above. It’s a 2.6-kilometer-long (return) trail that’s very easy.

Alternatively, you walk right to the Blue Lakes and go for a swim! Sure, it will be cold, but in the summer months, this is easily one of the best things to do in Mount Cook.

Although they are called “Blue” Lakes, don’t expect a super blue lake like Lake Pukaki. Back in the day, a glacier fed these lakes directly and the water was blue. But now, the water is more of a green color. It’s still beautiful, just not blue!

17. Go heli-skiing

man climbing in skies in the backcountry snow
This is one amazing place to go skiing!

Intermediate skiers can’t pass up the opportunity to ski on New Zealand’s longest glacier – the Tasman Glacier! This backcountry ski experience departs from the airport in Mount Cook Village where you will be transported by ski plane or helicopter to the Tasman Glacier for your first run of the day in the beautiful backcountry.

The tour includes three flight transfers, a guide, and a packed lunch to enjoy with some of the most scenic mountain views. Groups are limited to five people and you are required to bring your own gear (or arrange for the company to get it for you in advance.)

Most backcountry ski experiences are only suited for advanced skiers, but not this one! The runs are “blue” equivalent meaning most families and anybody at an intermediate level will enjoy it.

This isn’t a cheap activity in Mount Cook by any means, and you can expect to pay around $800 NZD per person.

Things to do in Lake Tekapo (near Mt Cook)

Lupins at Lake Tekapo
Lupins at Lake Tekapo!

Lake Tekapo is around a 2-hour drive from Mount Cook Village. Almost everyone who visits Mount Cook also visits Lake Tekapo. In fact, if accommodation in Mount Cook is all booked up (it is all summer and sometimes in winter) then you could also stay in Lake Tekapo.

So, here are some things to do in Lake Tekapo:

  • Scenic 4WD Tour Lake Tekapo Backcountry – If you’ve ever wanted to get off the beaten path, then this tour is a must-do. We got to take in views of Lake Pukaki, Mount Tasman, and of course, Mount Cook. On top of that, we learned about life on New Zealand’s high-country farming stations from your guide.
  • The Lake Tekapo Hot Springs – I honestly wasn’t a fan of these hot springs only because they were so busy! We really felt crammed into the springs like sardines. However, many people do love it and in winter it’s one way to get outside without freezing!
  • Join a Star Gazing Tour – As mentioned above, the Mackenzie District is part of the Dark Sky Reserve and Lake Tekapo is at the center of it. From Lake Tekapo, you can take tours to the Mount John Observatory and see the stars from closer than ever before. Often these tours include a visit to the hot springs.
  • See the Lupins in Full Bloom – Visiting the Lupins at Lake Tekapo is super popular and I actually did it this year. In all honesty, it’s really cool and although they are actually weeds, these flowers are very beautiful! The season runs from mid-November to early February.

You can browse all available accommodation in Lake Tekapo. If you’re visiting in the summer be sure to book ASAP. This region is one of the most popular in New Zealand!

Accommodation in Mount Cook National Park

The Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook National Park
The Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook National Park

Booking hotels in advance isn’t always the best option, but if you want to stay in Mount Cook Village then you really need to book in advance to avoid missing out! Often in summer, the village can be fully booked up to 6 months in advance!

Here are your options in terms of where to stay in Mount Cook Village:

White Horse Hill Campground

This is a DOC operated campground that costs $15 NZD per person per night. However, they do have specials for kids and students. The campground is set up for tents, cars, and motorhomes.

The YHA Hostel

The YHA in Mount Cook is one of the best budget options in Mount Cook National Park. It’s a clean, perfectly located hostel with dorm rooms available for a cheap stay in Mount Cook Village. There is ample parking for guests and the kitchen is huge. Oh and did I mention it comes with included spices – so get creative!

Honestly, this is where I stay on most visits to Mount Cook. Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of luxury but I also enjoy spending my money on experiences as posed to a bed!

Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge

Mount Cook Alpine Lodge is a mid-budget hotel that offers stunning views of the national park. Some rooms have their own kitchenette, while for those that don’t there is a communal cooking space (a necessity in Mount Cook Village as there are only a couple of restaurants!)

The Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook

The Hermitage is the largest hotel in the national park. It likely has some of the best views in the village and the restaurant is delicious. This is the perfect hotel for those looking for comfort and luxury in an ideal location!

Aoraki Court Motel

Another great hotel that’s actually got the best customer reviews in Mount Cook Village. Rooms are studios or apartments with kitchenettes and plenty of space for hanging out with a glass of wine.

Aoraki Alpine Chalet

If you’re traveling in a large group then this is your best option in the park. This chalet sleeps up to 8 people and has 3 bedrooms and a bathroom with a full kitchen. There’s only one in the park so book asap!

Mt Cook Lodge and Motel

One of the newest hotels in the park, however in this short time this hotel has already become very popular. Its location, views, and prices have made it one of the top options in the park!

The Mueller hut in Mount Cook
I spent a night here (the Mueller Hut) when I last visited Mount Cook National Park!

If possible, I recommend staying overnight in Mount Cook Village in order to make the most of your trip. But if you can’t find something suitable, consider staying in Lake Tekapo (1.5 hours away) or the closer option, a town called Twizel. Twizel is closer than Tekapo but doesn’t offer the same amazing views or things to do.

For a more detailed guide on where to stay in or near Mount Cook check out our accommodation guide to Mount Cook National Park!

Mount Cook FAQs

The toilet at the Mueller Hut with views of Mount Cook int he background
Not a bad view from the loo!
Where is Mount Cook National Park?

Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island, about a two-hour drive from Lake Tekapo. It is about halfway on the drive between Queenstown and Christchurch.

Is it Mount Cook worth visiting?

Absolutely! Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand, and as such, is seriously impressive. There are tons of beautiful walks and hikes to do in Mount Cook National Park that lead to stunning viewpoints of Mount Cook and nearby glaciers.

What are the best things to do in Mount Cook National Park?

The best things to do in Mount Cook include hiking various trails, stargazing, going on a scenic flight, visiting the Sir Edmund Alpine Centre, camping, kayaking, visiting viewpoints, and taking amazing photos!

Can you climb Mount Cook?

Yes, but it is a huge challenge and requires extensive mountaineering experience. Sir Edmund Hillary used Mount Cook to practice before summitting Mt Everest.

Is there a town in Mount Cook National Park?

Mount Cook Village is the name of the small located within Mount Cook National Park. Here, you’ll find one small store as well as a couple of restaurants and hotels.

How long should you spend in Mount Cook?

It’s recommended to spend 2-3 nights in Mount Cook National Park. This amount of time will allow you to see the best attractions as well as complete a hike or two.

Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand

Bailey takes a selfie with a JUCY campervan
Ready to hit the road!
Bailey stands infront of a JUCY campervan in New Zealand
JUCY is another favorite!

The first step to planning your New Zealand road trip is choosing your set of wheels! Most people rent a campervan or motorhome to get around, but you can also just rent a normal car and stay in hotels (as opposed to camping.)

You can search for rental cars online here in advance to compare car models and prices.

You can also do this with motorhomes and campervans on a website called Motorhome Republic. It shows all of the available campervans and motorhomes for your specific New Zealand road trip dates. You can compare prices and company reviews here too!

JUCY is our personal favorite campervan rental company in NZ. We love JUCY because they have such a range of both cars and campervans available, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something to suit your budget and travel style.

We’ve actually secured an exclusive discount code for our readers with JUCY. Just click here to browse their availability and use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off! What a good deal!

You can check prices, availability and book with JUCY online here.

Star RV is another company we personally recommend but specifically for motorhomes! They offer larger motorhomes (as opposed to budget campervans) at really reasonable rates.

Star RV has actually given us a discount code for our readers too! Use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off your motorhome rental! Note, this code is only valid for bookings made before June 21, 2024 with travel dates before Dec 21, 2024. Click here to browse availability, prices, and book with our discount code!

Before you go…

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie in Mount Cook National Park
Thanks for reading!

Mount Cook National Park is a truly special place in New Zealand. The things to do in Mount Cook are all amazing in their own way and regardless of the ones you choose to do, you’re sure to have a fun time and will want to visit again sometime soon!

I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any questions feel free to leave them below! Otherwise, check out all of our other blogs about exploring Mount Cook!


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Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Hi Daniel, Loved your blog. A quick query, we are planning to visit Mount Cook in first week of you reckon the hooker valley track and others would be open as I saw some YouTube videos by vloggers that the tracks were closed during late winter/spring…do you recommend visiting mount cook in early November ???thanks

Regards Jacob

Destinationless Travel

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

Hey Jacob,

Glad you like the blog.

The Hooker Valley Track will be open and is open all year round. Not sure who told you otherwise. Also the Tasman Glacier Viewpoint and Kea Point Track. You can even safley hike the Sealy Tarns Track although there may be some snow at the top. Hikes that may be under a warning (the hikes never officially close just come with avalanche warnings) would be the Mueller Hut Route.

The Hooker Valley track will only close during extreme winds due to the hanging bridges. But that can happen any time of the year.

I love visiting Mount Cook in October and November as it is much quieter and there is still lots of snow in the mountains.

Be careful following Youtube advice as it's often outdated and unreliable as many of these people do not or have not lived in New Zealand.

Hope this helps!

Thanks Daniel


Friday 7th of July 2023

What a lovely informative blog! All the information was really helpful, Daniel. Thank you and Best Wishes from Melbourne :)


Wednesday 27th of October 2021

I'm currently planning my trip for March next year (Covid forbid) and I am sold, everything looks fantastic, awesome, and miraculous, take my money. As a first-timer to Mt Cook with no athletic ability :'), do you have any recommendations for the least amount of time to spend there? Currently, I've got a night and day but wondering if I should extend that :/


Thursday 28th of October 2021

Hey RGO,

Glad you liked the blog!

Honestly, more time would be better. Even with no athletic ability, there are a few great walks you can. Check out my other blog - On top of that, you may get bad weather one day so staying two doubles your chances!

I hope this helps!

Thanks Bailey

Annette Ryan

Sunday 25th of October 2020

My husband and I did a loop of the South Island for our honeymoon a couple of years ago. Our itinerary only allowed us to spend one day and one night at Mount Cook. The whole trip was amazing, but Mount Cook was our favourite destination. It has the most amazing views, the air is so clean and fresh, and the sunsets are to die for. We both intend to return to New Zealand (from Australia) to spend at least a week at Mount Cook. Your blog is awesome as it has given us great ideas for how to spend our time when we return. We just can’t wait. Thanks so much for sharing this info with us.


Sunday 25th of October 2020

Hey Annette,

A week in Mount Cook would be awesome! You could certainly do a lot of hikes and even spend a night at the Mueller Hut!

For Australians, New Zealand could be one of the only places to travel next year but thats not actually a bad thing as it's so beautiful!

Hope you guys have an amazing time, you should browse our New Zealand blogs as we have lots more!

Thanks Daniel

Christina Sik

Saturday 24th of October 2020

Mt Cook is amazing... I have been twice before and planning to do a lot more tramping this time. Thank you for your very helpful blog.


Sunday 25th of October 2020

Hey Christina!

I'm so glad you found the blog helpful!

Mount Cook is our favourite place in New Zelaand and we can't wait to get back there once travel is safe! We hope you have an amazing time!

Thanks Daniel