Image of the April 2016 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
April 2016 Issue
Home / Articles / Waypoints

Close encounter of the Main Divide

Climbing the ridge to Sefton Bivouac, Mueller Glacier Lake below. Photo: Peter Laurenson
5.81km to bivouac
Total Ascent
GPX File
Sefton Bivouac.Aoraki.Mt Cook NP (gpx, yo 20 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

Sefton Bivouac, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

If you’ve been to Mueller Hut, loved it, but want something a bit more challenging and with equally stunning views, then a scramble to Sefton Bivouac is an excellent choice.

Aside from some boulder hopping as you enter Stocking Stream; and the steep ascent of the rocky spur leading to the snowfields and bivvy above, a key challenge is finding the right point to access the spur.

Just past Stocking Stream Shelter, step off the boardwalk and head west for 15 minutes until the point where Stocking Stream begins to gain elevation. Take care to find the spur trail on the true right of the stream. It is not immediately apparent, but look for cairns.

On the ascent, the view to Mount Cook Village and beyond just gets better and better, but it’s best to keep your eyes – and often hands – on the steep trail.

Cresting the ridge, Sefton Bivouac comes into view against a backdrop of Main Divide mountains including Mt Sefton and Footstool.

Given the bivvy’s limited capacity of four people (five at a squeeze), it’s sensible to bring a tent or bivvy bag with you.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Web exclusives. Each week we publish stories you won’t find in the magazine. View our latest web exclusives.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.