Hooker Valley Track

If you’ve only got a few hours in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (and don’t fancy taking 2000+ steps up a mountain) the Hooker Valley track is the one for you. This 10km track offers incredible landscapes from beginning to end.

This is a really achievable hike for most levels of experience. It’s mostly flat, signposted, and is only 5km in and 5km out making it a walk you can easily do in half a day or less. The morning I walked the Hooker Valley track I saw people of all ages including older couples as well as families with young kids.

If you’re not into hiking but want epic views without too much strenuous activity to get you there, this is the hike for you. If you are into hiking but need to give your legs a rest after smashing out Sealy Tarns, give Hooker Valley a crack!

A blue sky and rainbow in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

A blue sky and rainbow in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

Hiking the Hooker Valley Track

This track begins at the White Horse Hill camp ground and car park on Hooker Valley Road not far from the Mount Cook village. There are signs clearly marking the way. Once on the track, you hike into the valley with views of the surrounding mountains, cross tussocked landscape, and swing-bridges over the Hooker River.

You half way point is your destination here because on this track you return the way you came in. So at your 5km mark, and midpoint, you’ll find yourself at a pretty spot overlooking Hooker Lake, Aoraki Mount Cook, and the peaks of the Southern Alps. There’s picnic tables so you can take off your pack and sit a while before walking out.

Unlike the nearby Sealy Tarns track, this walk is almost entirely flat — the elevation change is only 124m — so if steep ascents are not your bag, but you still want to take in the incredible mountain views of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, Hooker Valley track is your hook up.

Be sure to take layers, sunscreen, hat, water, and snacks. And have fun!

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