Kea Point Track, Mount Cook: The Ultimate Guide (+ Is It Overrated?) 

Last Updated on June 18, 2022 by ashleighsatlas

Are you thinking of doing the Kea Point Track in Mt Cook?

Before I did the Kea Point Walk, I wasn’t sure if it was worth doing. I’d seen mixed reviews. 

But it was only an easy 20-minute detour off the Sealy Tarns Track, which I was doing anyway, so I decided to see for myself. (Also I knew I’d get massive FOMO if I didn’t do the Kea Point Track while I was in Mount Cook). 

Keep reading for my Ultimate Guide to the Kea Point Track:

  • FAQ + top tips
  • Honest Kea Point Track review
  • How to get there
  • Best Mt Cook Accommodation 
  • Best things to do nearby 

RELATED: Ultimate Mt Cook Travel Guide, 7 Best Mount Cook Walks, 9 Best Things to Do In Mt Cook

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FAQ + TOP TIPS 

Distance: 3km return  

Time: 40-60 minutes return 

Round track or one way: Round trip via same track 

Elevation gain: 180m

Difficulty: Easy 

How long is the Kea Point Track?

The Kea Point Track in Mount Cook is 3km return. The DOC website says it takes 1-hour return, but I found it was much faster than this. I would allow 40-60 minutes return. 

When is the best time to do the Kea Point Track Mt Cook?

You can do the Kea Point Walk any time of the year. I’d recommend going in Summer or Autumn, so you can do other walks in Mt Cook which aren’t safe to do in Winter (like Sealy Tarns and the Ball Hut Route to Tasman Glacier).  

Try to go when there’s no cloud so you can see the best views of Mt Cook. 

How difficult is the Kea Point Track Mount Cook? 

The Kea Point Track in Mt Cook is easy. There is a small elevation gain (180m), but it’s much easier than the Sealy Tarns Track (but the views also aren’t anywhere near as good). It’s also easier than the Hooker Valley Track, because it’s much shorter. 

Anyone with reasonable fitness should be fine. You can do it in normal clothing and trainers, and don’t need to wear hiking boots. 

Can you take dogs on the Kea Point Walk? 

No, dogs are not allowed on the Kea Point Track in Mount Cook.   

KEA POINT TRACK REVIEW: IS IT WORTH DOING? 

Honestly, no. I didn’t love the Kea Point Lookout. It has beautiful views of the Mueller Glacier Lake, but the views from the Sealy Tarns Track are a million times better. If you have the time and fitness, do Sealy Tarns instead. 

But the Kea Point Track is a very easy short walk. If you can’t do Sealy Tarns, Kea Point is still a pretty viewpoint and worth doing. 

If you’re trying to decide between the Kea Point Walk and Hooker Valley Track, I’d definitely recommend the Hooker Valley Track. It’s one of the best walks in Mt Cook.

HOW TO GET TO THE KEA POINT TRACK MT COOK

The Kea Point Track starts at the White Horse Hill Campground. This is the same place that the Sealy Tarns Track and Hooker Valley Walk start. 

The carpark a 5-minute drive from the Mt Cook Village and there are lots of signs pointing you where to go. There is free parking. 

You can also walk from the Mt Cook Village. This will add an extra 30 minutes each way. There are no interesting views on the walk, so I recommend driving instead. 

When you get to the carpark, walk to the left. You will see a sign for the Kea Point Track, Sealy Tarns Track, and Mueller Hut. You will walk on the same track as the Sealy Tarns Track for the first 10 minutes. The path then splits. Follow the signs to the right for the Kea Point Lookout. The lookout is about a 10-minute walk from the turnoff. 

There’s a map of the Kea Point Track on the DOC website, but it’s really well signposted so you won’t need a map.

There is no public transport to Mt Cook, so the easiest way to get there is driving. If you need a rental car, I recommend using rentalcars.com, which I always use. It’s like booking.com and compares all the different rental car companies. 

MOUNT COOK ACCOMMODATION 

I recommend staying in the Mt Cook Village. The accommodation is very expensive and there are only a few options, but it’s worth it. 

The weather in Mt Cook is very changeable, so it’s worth staying in the village so you can see when there is a break in the weather (and have somewhere to hang out when you’re waiting for the clouds to leave). There are also beautiful views of Mt Cook from the village. 

There are also a few beautiful luxury boutique hotels with amazing views of Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook. Just be aware they are about a 40-minute drive from Mt Cook Village. 

You could also stay in Twizel or Lake Tekapo. Personally I don’t love Twizel (it’s a fairly uncharming small town), but Lake Tekapo is one of my favourite places in New Zealand

Looking for the best places to stay in Mt Cook?

  • Hermitage HotelThe Hermitage Hotel is the best and most luxurious place to stay in the Mt Cook Village, and also has incredible food. 
  • Aoraki Court MotelI stayed here on my last trip, because the room had a spa bath and I wanted cooking facilities. It was a lovely modern apartment, and I would definitely recommend it and stay again. It’s in the Mt Cook Village.
  • Mt Cook Lakeside RetreatBeautiful luxury boutique hotel on Lake Pukaki. 
  • Lakestone Lodge TekapoAnother beautiful luxury boutique hotel on Lake Pukaki. 
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BEST THINGS TO DO NEARBY?

Looking for other things to do in Mt Cook? Read my guides to find the best things to add to your bucket list:

Planning a trip to other places in the South Island? Read my Ultimate Destination Guides for: 

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