Annette Plateau, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.
By Dylan Arthur
Aoraki/Mount Cook Village is often bustling with people, but with a little imagination and a bit of grind it’s easy to get away from the crowd.
To reach Annette Plateau, hike the Sealy Tarns Track to Mueller Hut. From the hut there are no tracks, just peaks, greywacke, glaciers, and distant rumbling icefall. Follow your nose to skirt around the western flanks of Mt Ollivier, Kitchener and Waihi Pass, with the moraine of the Mueller Glacier below, until reaching the permanent ice field of Annette Plateau.
There’s no need to rope up to reach the plateau, and it’s possible to explore the ice and climb to the summit of Mt Annette (2235m) from where you can look down the steep eastern aspects of the Sealy Range to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village.
It’s a day’s walk to the plateau, so it’s worth camping two nights here – there are plenty of good spots. On this trip we camped low on our first night and then spent the second day exploring and climbing higher up the plateau to achieve remarkable views.
- Total Ascent
- Moderate / Difficult
- 8–10hr one way
- Mueller Hut ($45, 28 bunks)
- Hooker Valley Road End
- BX15, BY15