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February 23, 2016

Mount Cook : The highest point of New Zealand

4th days of my 16 days backpacking through New Zealand and Australia

English I Bahasa Indonesia

I heard about mt Cook when I was searching about the first human who reached the summit of Mount Everest. He is Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander. Once, I found that he trained himself on mt Cook. Mt Cook is also the highest point of New Zealand, 3724 m. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. A popular tourist destination especially for people who like hiking.

I needed to train myself  like what Hillary did. My journey would be getting tough for searching the ring. Ahhh...i was too lazy...I didn't care about the ring. However someone said to me that Mt Cook is very beautiful. Ok, I got the reason why I should go there.

The trips

It is my 16 days backpacking through New Zealand and Australia on late November to mid December 2015. follow the full adventure by clicking each link :


  • 10:00 - 13:00 : Travelling to Mt Cook by car. Normally it took 2 hour until arrived to Mt Cook but we made a lot of stop because of the beautiful scenery along the way!
  • 13:00  - 17:00 : Hooker Valley track. it spent 3++ hours return
  • 17:00 - 22:00 : .Nothing special, just staying in the hostel and hanging out with other guest

Getting here and around

Getting here
Only 2 bus provider is available, Intercity and Cook Connection. I used Cook Connection because it was cheaper. The bus operate from Tekapo to Mt Cook via Twizel. They used minibus to transfer people. It Cost me 60 NZD for Tekapo-Mt Cook and return to Twizel. Visit their site for update information www.cookconnect.co.nz

Getting around
The town is even smaller than Tekapo. No public buses in the town. You are only able to walk for getting around.

Why you should make a stop along the way from Tekapo to Mt Cook

Luckily, I joined Gino and Lisa 's cars. They were Australians who i met in YHA hostel from small chit chat in the kitchen. Actually, I had booked the Mount Connection to Mt Cook but I cancelled it because of them. It took 3 hours from Tekapo to Mount Cook. We started at 10 AM and arrived at 1 PM. The scenery along the way was gorgeous. That was why we made a lot of stop along the way. Mount Cook could be seen from faraway because it was the highest so no mount were able to cover it. However most of the car stopped 30 minutes after the intersection between Twizel and Mount Cook or 2.5 hours driving from Tekapo Lake. They stopped because of there is photography spot like a small plateau. We followed them and Lisa also recommended that place. The Scenery was very stunning up there!


I was stayed in YHA Mount Cook Hostel. I was not sure if there were another hostel in this place. I paid 38 NZD for dormitory room. Like other YHA hostel, I would give good point for the hostel. The kitchen was good, free wifi and helpful receptionist. The hostel also provide some ingredients for cooking since there were no supermarket in town but I had to buy before the receptionist gone.

No Supermarket in town
No supermarket in Mt Cook. I recommend you to buy some food in Tekapo or Twizel. However, hostel/hotel also sell foods or ingredients

Hocker Valley Track

There are a lot of trekking/walking routes in Mt Cook like Governors Bush Walk, Kea Point Walk, Glencoe Walk, Hooker Valley Track, Tramping tracks, Ball Pass route and Mt Cook summit Climbing. I will not tell you about all the track because I only did the Hooker Valley Track. Hooker Valley track may be the most famous track in here. You will trek until the remarkable spot for Mt Cook. It takes 4 hours trekking but I did it for 3++ hours, literally it was 4 hours. The track consider easy because of not much inclination and clear path. There is wooden path available and a toilet also. Along the way you will get the best composition of river, glaciers, stones, mountains and plants that make it very beautiful!

I was arrived at 1 PM in Mount Cook and we went straight away to the Hooker Valley Track. I,Gino and Lisa had the same interest so we did the trekking together. The starting point for Hocker valley was quite far from the town and it was nearby with holiday park. I needed to walk for 30 minutes actually but I had my Australians friends now. The good news was “they had a car!”

Somehow, i didn't understand with them because they brought a lot of stuff and their backpack looked so big. How about me? I only brought my portable bag  (even i could fold it into key chain size) , camera, water and a raincoat. I didn't have foods actually but they had. How lucky I was. Lol. Lisa walked so fast and she left me and Gino. Gino age might be 60++ years old so i preferred to stay with him. I was not understand with them but they were unique father and daughter.

Long..long time a go, the glacier in Mt Cook was so extent
The rumble and crash of an ever-changing landscape "
" shhh! Listen! Can you hear the rocks and the snow tumbling down from the mountain above? The rushing water? It is the sound of change-of glaciers retreating and mountain being torn down by water and ice. Signs of change are all around you. A hundred years ago the Mueller Glacier filled the valley floor. You could have walked onto the glacier from near here. Today the glacier is all but hidden up the valley. Glacial ice left behind is still visible at the far end of the lake. Piles of rock rubble (Moraine) dropped by the glacier mark its past extent 

at the middle of the track, Lisa felt not so good so she preferred to go back to the car park. Now, it was only me and Gino. We continued walking and finally we arrived to the lake. The lake was meant the end of the track. The summit was just another kilometer from us but we didn't know how to go there. It might be another route  so we just stopped here. We had a rest on a picnic table. I take out some water bottle from my bag but Gino take out some foods from his heavy backpack. How lucky I was! I also met with another trekkers from China and Singapore. The Chinese was a couple and they were 60's years old maybe. I tried to speak with little bit mandarin. Looks funny... but they were happy. It made me having some chit chat with them and  they gave me a bread also. Free foods again!

Another New friends again

Sadly, I had to say goodbye with Gino and Lisa. They had to continue until Queenstown. Many thanks to both of you! How about me? I stayed in Mt Cook for 1 night. In the hostel, I met another new friends, Anna from Japan and Bib from Thailand. Actually I recognized them before in YHA Tekapo but I didn't know how to start conversation with them. Now.., we were in the same hostel again, even in the same dormitory! Now i knew what kind of topic to start the conversation. "i saw you in Tekapo!". genius way to start a conversation

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