Sealy tarns and the Hooker Valley
Sealy tarns and the Hooker Valley

Aoraki – Mt Cook National Park tends to have lots of walks that are short and pretty easy: Kea Point, Tasman Glacier lookout, Governors Bush Walk etc – it also has some of New Zealand’s best alpine routes: Copland and Ball Pass and mountaineering routes, like Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and Malte Brun, but these require specialist equipment and mountainering skills which are beyond most visitors. What there aren’t many of are the full day, but achievable by “most people” sort of walks that take you safely high up into the Alps along a non technical path. The lack of these type of walks is really just because of the parks extreme geography: steep sided glacierally carved valleys, with unstable moraine walls, presided over by ice cliffs, glaciers, icefalls and near vertical rock faces. Fortunately though, admidst this hazardous landscape there are a couple of day walks which snake their way nimbly through this rough and unpredictable terrain. They are the 3 hour return walk to Lake Hooker and the day hike to the Mueller hut via the Sealy tarns. (There is also the Mt Sebastopol via the red tarns walk, although I haven’t done it) The photos showcase both of these walks taken over the recent Easter weekend.

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