Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook National Park are two stunning destinations in New Zealand that offer breathtaking natural beauty and a range of outdoor activities. In this blog, we will take you on a virtual day trip from Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook National Park, exploring the highlights and must-see attractions along the way. Whether you are planning a trip to New Zealand or simply want to learn more about these incredible locations, this blog will provide you with valuable information and insights.

Lake Tekapo: A Perfect Base

Located on the eastern side of the Southern Alps, Lake Tekapo serves as an ideal base for exploring the Mount Cook National Park. This picturesque village offers a range of accommodation options, from quiet bed & breakfasts to holiday homes and cottages. The village is also known for its iconic landmark, the Church of the Good Shepherd, which provides a stunning backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Additionally, Lake Tekapo is famous for its dark sky project, allowing visitors to indulge in stargazing experiences, weather permitting.

The Scenic Drive to Mount Cook

The journey from Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook National Park takes approximately an hour and a half, offering numerous scenic viewpoints along the way. One of the highlights is the Lake Pukaki viewpoint, where you can witness the turquoise-colored water and the majestic peaks of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. The road leading to Mount Cook Village is a no-exit road, providing a sense of adventure and isolation. Along the route, you can also find accommodations, such as retreats and lodges, for those seeking a more remote experience.

Mount Cook Village: A Gateway to Adventure

Arriving in Mount Cook Village, also known as Aoraki Mount Cook, you will discover a range of accommodation options, including motels, cabins, and chalets. The Hermitage Hotel, with its luxurious amenities and stunning views, stands out as the premier lodging choice in the area. From the village, you can embark on various local walks and hikes that showcase the natural beauty of the region.

Hooker Valley Walk: A Must-Do

One of the most famous walks in Mount Cook National Park is the Hooker Valley Walk. This scenic trek takes you through a picturesque valley, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. The well-maintained track includes a bridge and partly boardwalk sections, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Although popular, especially during the summer season, the Hooker Valley Walk is worth the visit for its stunning beauty.

Other Walks and Activities

In addition to the Hooker Valley Walk, Mount Cook National Park offers a range of other walks and activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The Kia Point walk is a shorter option that can be completed in half an hour, providing beautiful views and a chance to connect with nature. For experienced hikers, the challenging Mueller Hut hike rewards with breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding mountains. It is important to check with the local Department of Conservation for the latest information on track conditions and closures due to weather or other factors.

Tasman Glacier and Glacier Explorer

The Tasman Glacier Valley is another must-visit location in Mount Cook National Park. This area is home to glacier lakes that formed due to a slip around 20 years ago. A short walk to the Tasman Glacier Viewpoint offers panoramic views of the glacier and the surrounding valley, including floating icebergs. For a closer encounter with the glacier, the Glacier Explorer company offers boat tours on the glacier lake, allowing you to touch and experience the floating icebergs up close.


A day trip from Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook National Park is a journey filled with natural wonders and outdoor adventures. From the stunning views of Lake Pukaki to the captivating hikes in Mount Cook Village, this itinerary offers a taste of the beauty that New Zealand has to offer. Whether you are a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook National Park should be on your list of must-visit destinations. So pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to explore the stunning landscapes of New Zealand.

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