A one day walk of a lifetime – Mueller Hut route, New Zealand
Our new treasurer’s favourite day walk:
Distance: 5.2km one way return via same track
Duration: 4hr one way
Located in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park it is possibly one of the best one-day hikes in NZ. At 1800 meters, the Mueller Hut provides a 360-degree panoramaview of glaciers, ice cliffs, vertical rock faces and New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. Overnight stays are possible but due to its popularity, advancebookings are recommended.
On the day I planned to hike, it was indeed booked out, so I did the day hike instead. It was a tough uphill slog with an ascent of over 1000 meters in just over 5 kilometres. The path starts well-formed with lots of stairs, but then turns rougher and rockier, with larger boulders to jump across and a steep slope of scree to scramble up.
A line of poles every 200 metres guides you along the way.These were a god send as it became increasingly cloudy and foggy with visibility decreasing as I got climbed higher. Just as I thought it was too dangerous to continue,I suddenly cleared the cloud line. It felt like magic, being bathed in bright, warm sunlight, clear blue skies above and surrounded by jaw dropping mountain peaks. It was spectacular.
Because of the short distance and its steepness, the views varieddramatically. At the top you were rewarded with beautiful views of Mount Cook and numerous other peaks, lakes and glaciers, which I enjoyed for several hours before heading back down. A great hike, one which I highly recommend.