Kea Point Track: Easy 1 hour walk for Mt Cook Views

Kea Point Track, Mount Cook National Park

The Kea Point Track, New Zealand is an easy short walk in the Mt Cook National Park.  It is a great alternative to the Hooker Valley Track, if you don’t want to walk the 3-4 hours return and it still has such beautiful views and the chance to see Mt Cook.  So if you are short on time, the Kea Point Mount Cook walk is perfect.

What is the Kea Point Track like?

The Kea Point Track is an easy, slightly uphill track to a viewpoint over Mueller Lake where you get a great view of Mt Cook (when it isn’t covered in cloud) and the beautiful Southern Alps mountain range.  This Mount Cook track isn’t too difficult, so great for the whole family.

When we visited in winter, we could even see the bright blue ice from the glaciers.  I know further up the mountains there are ice caves that you can explore if you take a trip with one of the helicopter companies.  The ice is an amazing alpine blue and you could see these sparkling with a naked eye.  Pretty cool!

The track itself is a mixture of good compacted gravel at the start with it growing more rocky near the top of the track.  But it wasn’t at all difficult to walk on, and you won’t need hiking boots for this one.  General running shoes will be fine.

The Mt Cook track was very open, so there is no shelter from the weather up here, or at the viewpoint, so just be aware if you are walking with younger ones in the winter.

Two young bikes hike the Kea Point track on a cloudy day
Backyard Travel Family kids smile at each other as they look at the turquoise Mueller Lake in Mt Cook National Park
Nathan and Kipton from Backyard Travel Family hike up the short Kea Point Track to the viewpoint
Lookout platform at the end of the Kea Point Track

 

How long does the Kea Point Mt Cook hike take to walk?

The Kea Point Track took us about 30 minutes each way. It definitely wasn’t too far to the Kea Point Lookout.   Our boys 4 and 6, walked this track and I carried my 2 year old in a backpack.  The kids walked at an average pace and found this walk to be totally fine.

How to get to the Kea Point Track, Mt Cook

The Kea Point walk and the Hooker Valley Track leave from the same car park near DOC’s White Horse Hill Campground.  

You will find the turnoff on Mt Cook Road (Main Road to Mt Cook Village – State Highway 80) just before you reach Mt Cook Village.  Turn right onto Hooker Valley Road and park in the carpark at the end.  The Kea Point Track will send you to the left (along with the Sealy Tarns Track and Mueller Hut Track), and the Hooker Valley Track to the right.  

From Tekapo, it will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive to this walk, or from Twizel, about 50 minutes.

If you are staying in Mt Cook Village, you can also walk from here, although it adds another 1 hour return onto the hike.  The Kea Point Track is signposted from the Hermitage Hotel and is an easy walk down to the White Horse Hill Campground.  Personally, I would still drive this bit if you have younger walkers.

Turning point on the Kea Point Track, where left takes you to the Sealy Tarns Track and Mueller Hut walk, or right takes you to the Kea Point Track
Don't miss the turn here
Start of the Hooker Valley Track and Kea Point Track, Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Even the carpark has views

Other great Mt Cook Walks

You may also find these articles helping in planning your Mackenzie Region visit
Ashley and Emilia from Backyard Travel Family check out the 360 degree views of Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie Region, Canterbury Walk, South Island, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo Walks
Jennifer

Jennifer

Founder of Backyard Travel Family

Jen is a super organiser when it comes to travel. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space

Jen has three young children, 6 and under and travels around New Zealand with them.

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what you need to know

Travel

- Kea Point Track is on Hooker Valley Road, off Mt Cook Road (the main road to Mt Cook Village)
- 50 minutes from Twizel
- 1 hour, 15 mins from Tekapo

The walk

- easy gravel track with more loose shingle near the top
- mild incline, but not too difficult
- 30 mins each way
- Kea Point Viewpoint over Mt Cook and Mueller Lake

Suitable for kids?

- Great track for kids.
- Preschoolers who are good walkers and primary aged plus will find this no problem.

Facilities

- Free Parking
- Toilets at White Horse Campground car park
- Open walk with no shade or protection

What to bring

- Normal sports shoes are fine. Hiking boots not required
- A camera

Food options

Closest options are a few minutes down the road at Mt Cook Village. Try the Old Mountaineers Cafe or the Hermitage Hotel

What the critics thought

It almost rained, but we had just enough time. I wish we could see Mt Cook, but I saw some blue ice on the mountains. It was really bright. We will have to come again.
Backyard Travel Family / Your go to for practical advice for active families travelling around New Zealand
Kipton
4 year old Firecracker
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