The Hooker Valley Track
1st of February, 2018
The Hooker Valley Track
I certainly understand why this is one of the most popular walking tracks in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. I found the walk really enjoyable especially because I got views of some of New Zealand's highest and most enthralling peaks. To be honest, I went underprepared as it was a real scorcher of a day, I took the wrong hat, a wooley hat, instead of a summer cap, and I took loads of clothes but it was 28 degrees! I went, I suppose, never underestimating that the weather can change quickly up in the Southern Alps. I definitely did not take enough water, but thankfully I was saved at the Hooker lake as you will see!
I started my walk at The White Horse campground. It is an easy track and takes about 3 hours return. A bit longer in reality because of all the photo stops and the picnic at the lake at the end. I recommend you stop at the poignant Alpine Memorial at the beginning of the walk as you might be too tired or hot on the way back. It is a memorial to all those souls who have lost their lives exploring and doing what they loved most.
The walk is just simply stunning with every corner turned another WOW moment!
First, you get to see the Mueller Glacier and lake.
Then comes the first of three swing bridges which cross over the thundering Hooker River. The swing bridges are great fun to walk over, you are really high up above the icy blue Hooker river, the sound is amazing and views are astonishing.
The first section of walk travels between old moraine ridges and humps. Once you have passed the second bridge the scenery changes to more open tussock and wider valley. The wildflowers are dotted on the side of the track. I saw the Mount Cook buttercup in full bloom. It's just so awesome, simply breathtaking scenery!
A boardwalk takes you closer to your goal, you are getting closer and closer to Aoraki Mt Cook and it's peak looks like it is smiling at you!
And then as if you weren't amazed by the scenery you had just walked through, there is the Hooker Valley Glacier Lake with icebergs floating on top. Really I am lost for words of how this actually made me feel. It was an incredible sight and one I urge anyone lucky enough to be in the South Island of New Zeland to see.
I went down to the beach and just sat watching, looking, and realising how incredibly lucky I was to behold such a sight. There were quite a few people around and some were braver than me venturing into the icy cold water to retrieve a piece of the melting ice. A friendly chap gave me a lump for which I was really grateful as I had run out of drinking water. After getting photos, I smashed the ice into little pieces and filled up my bottle so I had the most refreshing water or my return walk back to the car!
Real New Zealand Tours highly recommend you experience The Hooker Valley. You can either go by yourself or we can arrange a guide to accompany you. We are sure you will agree it will be one of the many highlights of your trip!