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Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park

The Hooker Valley Track crosses suspension bridges over the Hooker River before reaching a lookout above Hooker Lake for an in depth view of Mount Cook.

The Hooker Valley Track is a type of trails on which you may be always asking your self, “How much longer? How much farther?”

To some it might really feel like an extended and boring stroll, while others might enjoy the length of the stroll to both be with their own ideas or have a very good dialog with whomever has joined them on the stroll.

The Hooker Valley Track is a type of walks you will either love or hate, but in the top, you may be rewarded with an in depth view of Mount Cook and Hooker Lake.

Probably the most fascinating and fun a part of the Hooker Valley Track is crossing three suspension bridges which were put in place to cross the Hooker River.

The trail runs alongside the Hooker River, which makes a steady rumbling noise. You’re surrounded by mountains all along the best way until you reach Hooker Lake.

This monitor is a highly regarded monitor, so don’t anticipate to be on all of it by your self.

Methods to get to the Hooker Valley Track

The Hooker Valley Track is situated in Mount Cook National Park on the South Island of New Zealand.

The quickest method to get to Mount Cook National Park is to fly to Queenstown after which drive to Mount Cook National Park. This driving journey would take roughly Three hours and word that it will additionally have you ever go through Lindis Cross, which may or is probably not impassible in winter.

An alternative choice can be to fly to either Dunedin or Christchurch. The drive from Dunedin would final about 3 hours and 45 minutes, whereas it might take about 4 hours to drive from Christchurch to Mount Cook National Park by way of Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki.

When you attain Mount Cook National Park, comply with Hooker Valley Street to one of the a number of parking tons at the finish of the street near the beginning of the walk.

For more driving distances and occasions from different places on the South Island to Mount Cook National Park, seek the advice of the South Island driving distances and occasions page.

The Hooker Valley Track stroll in Mount Cook National Park

The stroll described here begins on the finish of the Hooker Valley Street. You would additionally begin walking from Mount Cook Village however would then have to add one hour return to the walk [Image: Mount Cook Village and the Hermitage as seen from the Hooker Valley Track (50 KB)].

A Division of Conservation sign at first of the Hooker Valley Track lists the next occasions:

  • Alpine memorial 5 min
  • Mueller lookout 15 min
  • Hooker Lake 1 hr 35 min

The stroll starts out pretty flat. While you’ll be gaining elevation, you’ll not notice much of it because the path climbs solely about 80 meters (262 ft) over 5 km (Three.1 mi) so may be seen as a really gently climb.

The path is a gravel trail, however as a result of many individuals have gone before you, the gravel is sort of compact.

Shortly after beginning the walk, it is best to come across a sign for Freda’s Rock after which after about 5 minutes of walking, it is best to see a sign and a path going off to the left, as much as the Alpine Memorial [Image: The Alpine Memorial perched on top of a hill in Mount Cook National Park (69 KB)].

After about one other 10 minutes of walking, you need to reach a junction where you’ll be able to go left to the Mueller Lake Lookout or right to the Hooker Valley.

The Mueller Lake Lookout gives views of the Hooker River down under, the first suspension bridge, Mueller Lake, and Mount Sefton.

Mueller Lake is the result of the Mueller Glacier retreating. 100 years in the past, the Mueller Glacier crammed the valley flooring. Today, the glacier is hidden up the valley. Glacial ice was left behind and continues to be visible at the far end of Mueller Lake. Piles of rock rubble (moraine) dropped by the glacier mark its previous extent.

After you allow the Mueller Lake Lookout, go left to proceed on to Hooker Lake and Mount Cook. You will virtually immediately descend a couple of steps after which attain the first suspension bridge, which is situated about 1 km (zero.6 mi) from the beginning of the stroll.

First suspension bridge on the Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park on the South Island of New Zealand

The trail becomes undulating and as soon as in a while you’ll be strolling on boardwalks. Up to now, it was attainable to climb a pile of rocks and sand near Mueller Lake, but the path was modified to avoid that route.

Now you possibly can walk up steps to a excessive viewpoint and still get a superb view of Mueller Lake about 10 to 15 minutes after you cross the first suspension bridge.

After about 40 to 45 minutes, you need to reach the second suspension bridge – the Hooker Bluff Bridge – to cross the Hooker River again. The second suspension bridge is situated at concerning the midway level so 2.5 km (1.6 mi) from the beginning of the walk.

Second suspension bridge on the Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park on the South Island of New Zealand

About 5 minutes after passing the second suspension bridge, you need to start to get good views of Mount Cook in the space down the valley.

After about 1 hour and 5 minutes or Three.5 km (2.2 mi) after beginning the stroll, you need to attain a small picket bridge that crosses the Stocking Stream. There’s also a shelter and bogs close by.

At this point, you aren’t removed from a large area with open tussock (grass) where you will have to walk on a very long boardwalk. When you attain this area, you’re on the final stretch of the stroll. The valley is sort of open and you will get good views of Mount Cook from here.

Boardwalk on open tussock on the Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park on the South Island of New Zealand (looking toward Mount Cook)

Proceed walking till you reach the Higher Hooker Bridge, which is the third and final suspension bridge on the path. It ought to take about 20 minutes after crossing the Stocking Stream to succeed in the bridge. The Upper Hooker Bridge is situated about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the beginning of the stroll.

Third suspension bridge on the Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park on the South Island of New Zealand

Not removed from the beginning of the bridge, you’ll hopefully see a sign on your left at a junction where you can continue strolling straight ahead to Hooker Lake and wind up on the western aspect of the lake or go proper to cross the third suspension bridge and comply with the Ball Cross Route.

In case you choose to cross the bridge, you will wind up on the japanese aspect of Hooker Lake. The japanese aspect is far greater and supplies higher views of Mount Cook and Hooker Lake [Image: Crossing the third suspension bridge on the Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park (68 KB)].

Go proper and cross the bridge. Shortly after crossing the bridge, it is best to reach a junction where there is a signal for an alpine tarn. The alpine tarn is just a small physique of water with a green colour. You’ll be able to visit it if you wish.

From this point, it ought to take you about 10 to 15 minutes to succeed in the top of the stroll and a lookout that gives views of Mount Cook and Hooker Lake. The final stretch of the walk climbs up so may be a bit exhausting. As well as, the gravel is rougher and the stones are bigger than in the primary part of the stroll [Image: Looking south from the lookout above Hooker Lake in Mount Cook National Park (57 KB)].

After you reach the lookout, you’ll be able to comply with a trail that descends toward Hooker Lake and even cross over to the opposite aspect in case you wish to get a unique view of Hooker Lake and Mount Cook. You may even see some ice floating on Hooker Lake.

Mount Cook and Hooker Lake on the South Island of New Zealand

Primary information for the Hooker Valley Track walk

Path size: 5 km (3.1 mi) one-way from the top of Hooker Valley Street to a lookout over Hooker Lake
Walking time: The Division of Conservation lists Three hours as the whole time to walk this monitor and return with an additional hour added in case you are ranging from Mount Cook Village. This time ought to be snug sufficient to complete the stroll as a result of it took me 2 hours and 50 minutes in complete (1 hour and 35 minutes out and 1 hour and 15 minutes again) to do that walk. My walking velocity is sluggish.
Problem: Medium
Trail sort: The trail is a mixture of gravel, steps, suspension bridges, and boardwalks.
Path situation: Good and well-maintained. There are elements the place you need to walk uphill and downhill. The elements where it’s a must to stroll uphill usually are not too steep and the place the trail could be very steep, steps have been created to make it simpler for you to ascend and descend.
Fitness degree: Average. The problem of the trail lies in the fact that it’s quite lengthy. It can be taxing on the legs when it’s a must to stroll uphill or up steps, however these sections of the path will not be extremely lengthy so should not be too exhausting.
Greatest time to walk: It is troublesome to capture Mount Cook from the Hooker Valley Track because the sun is nearly all the time shining right in your face during midday hours when the valley is lit. The perfect season to do this walk would in all probability be summer time when the solar is in a more favorable place (so extra south than north) and during late morning to early afternoon hours.
What you’ll see: Scenic views of Mount Sefton, Mueller Lake, Hooker River, Hooker Lake with maybe some ice drifing on it, and Mount Cook. There’s additionally a small alpine tarn you’ll be able to go to in your strategy to the lookout over Hooker Lake.

You possibly can see the situation of the parking area on the finish of Hooker Valley Street on this Google map.

The route you’ll need to comply with approximately to succeed in the lookout above Hooker Lake is indicated with a pink dashed line on this topographic map of the Hooker Valley Track (266 KB) [This work is based on/includes LINZ’s data which are licensed by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence].

Video of the Hooker Valley Track walk close to Mount Cook

The following Three-minute video provides you an impression of what to anticipate on this scenic stroll on the Hooker Valley Track that leads to a lookout above Hooker Lake that gives an in depth view of Mount Cook in Mount Cook National Park on the South Island of New Zealand.

This article falls beneath Day Walks.

Word: Walking tracks and trails may be modified or get closed. The knowledge introduced right here was correct when it was gathered.

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