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The Hooker Valley Track | Buddhima Wickrama Arachchi | Auckland

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Nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, the Hooker Valley Track is a popular hiking trail that attracts visitors from all over the world. The trail is named after the Hooker River, which flows through the valley and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.

The Hooker Valley Track is a relatively easy hike, making it accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. The track is well-maintained and features several boardwalks and bridges that cross over the river and the various streams that flow into it. Along the way, hikers can also enjoy the native flora and fauna of the area, including alpine plants and kea birds.

The trailhead for the Hooker Valley Track is located at the White Horse Hill campground, which is just a short drive from the town of Mount Cook Village. From there, hikers can follow the well-marked trail through the valley, crossing over several swing bridges and passing by the Hooker Glacier and its terminal lake.

We visited the track during the Spring as this offers spectacular views with snow caps and warm weather compared to winter and summer months. Hiking in winter is not advisable as the track gets covered with snow and summer months offer warm weather which can be uncomfortable due the track being exposed and not my shade can be found. As we were walking through the valley, we were treated to breath-taking views of Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand (Mount Cook, also known as Aoraki in the local Maori language, is the highest mountain in New Zealand, reaching a height of 3,724 metres (12,218 feet) above sea level) and its surrounding peaks. The valley is also home to several other glaciers, including the Mueller Glacier, which can be seen from the trail.

The Hooker Valley Track is a popular destination for day hikers and is a must-do for anyone visiting Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. With its stunning scenery, diverse wildlife, and relatively easy terrain, it’s a great choice for hikers of all ages and abilities. Just remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks, and be sure to take your time and enjoy the views!

By Buddhima Wickrama Arachchi – Auckland

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