IntroductionSeveral walks around the village provide views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding native alpine bush - these short, easy options are great for kids.
Bowen Bush Walk
Time: 10 min return loop
Height gain: Predominately flat with some steps
This walk starts opposite the petrol pumps. It's an easy forest walk that can be joined with Govenors Bush Walk to form a nature trail. This track wanders through tōtara and celery pine/mountain toatoa forest, and has an alternative exit/entry towards the Mount Cook Backpackers. A ‘Bird Song’ sounds system enhances the experience.
Time: 30 min return
Height gain: 40 m - steps and some zigzags
Start behind The Hermitage Hotel. The walk zigzags through tōtara trees with a ferny understorey, emerging at a lookout near the prominent water tanks above The Hermitage. A short climb rewards with a bird’s-eye view of the village and beyond to the white ice of Hooker Glacier and Aoraki/Mount Cook. Sunrise and sunset are good times to catch the light-play over the mountains.
Governors Bush Walk
Time: 1 hr loop
Height gain: 100 m - steps plus well gravelled track
Start this walk at the public shelter. It's a delightful bush walk, which joins with Bowen Bush Walk to form a nature trail and explores one of the few stands of silver beech/tawai (also known as tawhai) forest in the park.
A gradual climb leads to a lookout point of Wakefield Ridge and Aoraki/Mount Cook. This popular walk offers birdlife, a great view of the mountains and a sheltered place to experience the outdoors in poor weather.