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Character amidst the mountains

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November 2021 Issue

Hooker Hut, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. By Sarah Blair

Tucked away and strategically hidden, the recently relocated and renovated Hooker Hut is the oldest in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. It’s less than a two-hour walk from the car park and is bound to become a popular destination, especially for families or those new to tramping. 

Although partly along the busy Hooker Valley Track, once the main track is left behind and the orange markers followed, trampers are soon meandering through the valley in relative isolation and with a feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the highest mountains in the country.

It isn’t hard to catch sight of the bright orange roof as you close in on this humble destination. Hooker Hut has been lovingly restored. It has eight bunks, a gas cooker and one of the cutest log burners you’ve ever seen. Any changes from the original 1910 building have been kept to a minimum and the hut’s character has been maintained. 

The extensive outdoor decking area is a perfect addition from where to sit, relax and take in the surrounding views of the park, including Aoraki/Mt Cook itself. 

With the fire crackling, it’s a dreamy feeling that you can now easily sleep, snug as a bug, so close to the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain.

7.68km return
Total Ascent
Hooker Hut ($15, eight bunks)
White Horse Hill Campsite, Hooker Valley Road

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