The Hooker Valley Track is the most popular short day walk within the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand. At only 10 KM return and gaining only ~100 m in elevation; the well formed track can be completed by walkers with a wide range of level of fitness.

Length: 10.6 KM return

Duration: ~3 hours

Date walked: February 2022

From the first of three swing bridges along the way, enjoy the views over the Mueller Lake and listen for the rumbling of avalanches from the distant Mount Sefton. You may be able to spot them before they crash into the Mueller Glacier below. After crossing the Hooker River, the track goes between old moraine ridges and humps. From the second swing bridge, the vegetation changes to more open tussock and a wider valley floor. The second swingbridge in the Hooker Valley was severely damaged during a storm in March 2019. There is erosion on both sides of the bridge which affects its structural integrity during high winds. Engineers have determined the bridge is completely safe when not affected by strong winds and flood events. A third swing bridge then leads to the East Hooker and the source of the Hooker River. The track ends with an amazing view over the iceberg-speckled Hooker Lake and up to majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana.