Mount Cook National Park Day Hikes
Escape the crowds and discover the many hidden treasures of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park on one of our guided day hikes.
A professional mountain guide will take you safely on an “off the beaten track” tramp while sharing their extensive knowledge of the local area. We also provide all the gear you will need for the day and a picnic lunch.
Our day hikes include, but aren’t limited to, Mount Wakefield and Mount Sebastopol. Contact us to learn more about other little-known local tramping options.
Summer 2019/20 Prices
1 person NZ$550
2 people NZ$310 per person
3 people NZ$235 per person
4 people NZ$190 per person
Private certified mountain guide
Safety equipment and hiking gear
Experience and Fitness
Previous trekking /hiking experience is essential. Our hikes involve leaving marked and formed trails, uphill and downhill travel, stepped and natural surfaces.
You must have good aerobic fitness, and able to walk for at least 5 hours over the day on uneven terrain carrying a small backpack (4 to 5 kg).
Mount Wakefield Day Hike
Mount Wakefield is a full-day guided hike at Mount Cook for fit walkers, taking about 7-8 hours, return. The Mt Wakefield dominates the eastern skyline of Mount Cook Village and sees very few hikers. In our opinion it is probably the best day hike at Mount Cook.
The guided hike offers a 700-metre ascent to a scenic point above Wakefield's mighty scree fans. The climb begins steeply, under remnant native beech forest, then through grassy meadows of Mt Cook Lilies and Celmissia.
Our stopping point, home to NZ Falcons, gives uninterrupted views of Lake Pukaki, Tasman Glacier, and the ice-draped peaks of the Main Divide.
Fit parties who move well on rough terrain may continue to one of several small ‘peaks’ between 1,800 and 2,000 metres elevation. The descent is by the same route.
Mount Sebastopol Day Hike
Mount Sebastopol (1,468 m) is the closest peak to Mt Cook Village. This is a fun first ascent, mixing hiking with scrambling and utterly spectacular views. Total height gain is 750 metres (approx. 2,475 ft). The trip takes 4 - 6 hours return, depending on your level of fitness,
You meet your guide at 08:30 at Alpine Guides base. The climb follows a maintained track to Red Tarns for approx. 300 vertical metres and then by an unmarked route to the breathtaking summit.
Higher on the ascent you must be confident on uneven ground. The scrambling section requires the use of hands and some 'exposure' near the summit. The guide may use a rope for some sections.
The summit gives uninterrupted views down the length of the Tasman Valley to Lake Pukaki, and across to the glaciated peaks at the head of the Tasman Glacier. Kea are common visitors up here.
In cooler months there can be snow on the upper route and your guide will provide crampons.
The descent is by the same route, with a possible scree-run for those keen for some adventure. The trip takes on average 5-6 hours.
+ Booking Terms and Conditions
Glacier activities are weather dependent activities. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if weather is not safe/suitable for the helicopter or walking. Customers may transfer to another date, if guide, weather, and itineraries allow.
Alpine Guides reserves the right to change the duration of the trip around changing weather conditions.
If a trip is shortened due to incoming weather, there is no refund due.
If we cannot operate due to weather a refund of 100% is due for any pre-paid clients who are unable to re-book for a later date.
If paying by credit card the refund will be credited to the same card you paid with - please have this card ready. Charges will appear in the name of ‘Alpine Guides Aoraki’ on the credit cardholder's statement.
No refund will be given for cancellations within 24 hours if the weather will allow us to operate.
There will be a 100% charge for pre-paid customers who do not show and the weather is operable.
Cancellations should be made by phone (+64 3 435 1834), email, or in person.
Safety and Hazards
It is important that you understand the hazards when participating in these activities. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.
Guided hiking, climbing, snowshoeing and travel on glaciers is classified an ‘adventure activity’. There a degree of risk of personal injury. While all precautions are taken to minimise risk we cannot absolutely guarantee your safety.
We operate in natural mountain features that present certain physical hazards. These hazards include, but are not limited to:
Uneven and icy terrain and slopes
- Natural, uncontrolled terrain features
- Potential exposure to cold
- Potential exposure to UV light
- All guests receive a full briefing on hazards and helicopter safety prior to boarding
Health & Fitness Most healthy people with 'average' and higher level fitness should enjoy these activities.
Health and fitness may limit your ability to take part on an activity. We request knowledge of pre-existing medical conditions, including medication, when completing your booking.
Lack of physical fitness or medical conditions may affect your ability to safely take part in, or complete a trip.
We reserve the right to shorten, or cancel trips for guests whose fitness or ability is not appropriate. If you are unable to complete the activity, you will not be entitled to a refund.
Children need to be at least 12 years old and confident on uneven terrain. We reserve the right to change these requirements due to terrain and weather conditions. There is no 'child' rate as an adult aircraft seat is occupied and the guiding responsibilities are unchanged.
You must be 18 years or older to make a booking. If you are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian traveling with you must complete your registration form prior to the trip.