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Hiking the Kea Point Track in Mount Cook National Park

Hiking the Kea Point Track in Mount Cook National Park

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover one of the shortest walks in the Mount Cook National Park which offers spectacular views of the Mueller Glacier moraine wall and Aoraki.

If you’re after a shorter hike in the Mount Cook National Park, then the Kea Point 3 km return hike is a great option. This is an easy yet rewarding hike that is much less trafficked than the Hooker Valley track.

The viewpoint offers unique views of the Mueller glacial lake and moraine, as well as Mount Cook and Mount Sefton.

How to Get to the Kea Point Track

The Kea Point Track starts from Mount Cook National Park, just near the White Horse Hill Camp Site. This is the same area where you can start the Hooker Valley Track, Sealy Tarns Track, and the Mueller Hut hike.

Location: Trail to Kea Point

The best way to get to the Mount Cook National Park hiking area is to drive yourself. There is a large car park here where you can leave your car for free. That being said, this car park can get very busy in peak season, so plan to arrive early.

Alternatively, you can walk from Mount Cook Town however this will add an extra 1 km to the route.

Map showing the location of the kea point lookout in mount cook national park
Kea Point Lookout Location
Mountain range in mount cook national park

My Experience on the Kea Point Track

  • Hike Distance & Duration: 3 km in 1-2 hours
  • Elevation: 180 m total gain
  • Difficulty: Easy

We followed signs from the White Horse Hill campsite after we parked our car. The clearly marked Kea Point track leads slowly into the subalpine shrub. After about 10 minutes, the trail splits.

The left fork leads onto the Sealy Tarns Track and the Mueller Hut Route. We continued on the right, following signs to Kea Point.

The trail then began to climb gently through grassland and low scrub. Before we knew it we had arrived at the Kea Point Lookout.

Once we had snapped some epic shots we headed back to the carpark via the same trail.

Tip: The track is known to become icy/slippery during the winter!

Views over the moraine from kea point

About the Kea Point Lookout

The wooden viewing platform at Kea Point offers expansive views of the Footstool, the Hooker Valley, the Mueller Glacier Lake and Moraine, Mount Sefton, and Aoraki/Mount Cook.

The name "Kea Point" comes from the Kea bird, an intelligent and cheeky native alpine parrot native to the Mount Cook National Park, and can often be spotted on the track.

Tip: Do NOT feed the birds!

The native alpine parrot known as the kea bird
Native Kea Bird

Quick Tips For The Hike

Below I've also included some quick tips to help you plan a day of hiking in the Mount Cook National Park.

  • Check Mount Cook National Park weather updates
  • Notify somebody of your intentions (DOC)
  • Keep your pack light

What To Pack For Kea Point Track

Here are some things to pack for the hike.

  • Water bottle
  • Head Torch (always just as a precaution)
  • Muesli Bar or other Trail snacks
  • Sturdy boots or trail runners
  • Rain Jacket
  • Camera

Tip: Weather can change rapidly. I've experienced snow, rain, and wind along the park's tracks, so it's best to be prepared!

New zealand kea bird

I hope that you enjoyed this quick guide to hiking Kea Point Mount Cook National Park.

If you're looking for more hikes and things to do in the area, check out the list of articles and guides below.

Pinterest pin for the kea point track in new zealand south island
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

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