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Mueller Hut, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Mueller Hut. Photo: Ray Salisbury
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
Mueller Hut, 28 bunks
Hooker Valley Rd end
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Follow the stony path for 10 minutes or so, then veer left up the series of chunky wooden steps to Sealy Tarns. At the tarns, to one side is the persistent roar of churning water exiting a meltwater lake. To the other is the thunder of ice falling off the face of Sefton. Below, the tourists are minuscule ants marching to Kea Point, while Aoraki stands head and shoulders above all.

Higher up, there are no more staircases or handrails. Careful footing is required to balance movement over the large boulder field, before slogging up a tedious slope. Marker poles sidle along to the main ridgeline, then lead around to the shiny red hangar that is Mueller Hut. The current commodious hut was constructed in 2003, opened by Sir Ed Hillary himself, occupying a prime piece of real estate on a sloping snow plateau.

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