Mount Cook National Park is one New Zealand’s most famous destinations and home to New Zealand’s highest mountain top! It is also one of New Zealand’s must see destinations and an adventure you can’t miss.
After arriving in Christchurch, Mount Cook was our first major destination. The route we took from Christchurch to Mount Cook National Park was about a three hour drive, not including our 15-30 minute stops at Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. No doubt a full day could’ve been dedicated to spending time in Tekapo, but with our tight one-week-long schedule we could only stop for pictures.
Check out my post on Lake Tekapo here.
The drive to Mount Cook is unreal. Lavish landscapes and snow covered mountain tops line your view from all sides. It is hard to believe the view out the window is real, but it sure is.
Road to Mount Cook
Our Mount Cook experience did not quite play out the way we had hoped. We arrived to White Horse Hill Camping Ground thirty minutes before sundown. The campground is a gravel carpark at the start of multiple Mount Cook hikes. The overnight fee is $13 per adult and can be paid after park ranger hours by slipping the money into a box with your license plate number on it.
However, soon after we got settled in and began our first night in our campervan power and wifi free, it started thunder and lightening. We woke up the next day and the rain still was pouring down. The park ranger ended up not walking around to each van to check for payments and we ended up not getting to hike any of Mount Cook’s famous tracks.
We had planned on hiking Kea Point and Hooker Valley Track, a scenic walk with mountain, river and glacier views. It is a three hour long hike return. Since we missed this amazing hike, it is more of a reason to make an effort to return to New Zealand’s South Island and hike around Mount Cook. No doubt I’ll be back to New Zealand.
Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon xo.