mt cook glacier thumb

Mt Cook Glacier Trekking Expedition

Experience trekking on the glaciers of Mt Cook. The Mt Cook Glacier Trekking Expedition is a multi day adventure where you will experience walking and climbing on one of New Zealand's largest glaciers.

Based from a high alpine hut you will be surrounded by New Zealand's highest mountains, the scenery is simply incredible!

As part of the Mt Cook Glacier Trekking expedition you will learn glacier travel and mountaineering skills. For fit and adventurous participants it is possible to learn ice climbing skills or climb a mountain as part of this awesome adventure. Access to the mountains is by helicopter or ski plane and once in the mountains you will stay in one of the high alpine huts at the head of the glacier, normally these areas are only visited by experienced mountaineers.

Each day of the Mt Cook Glacier Trekking expedition is spent exploring the local area. There are different options available depending on your groups goals and fitness. Activities include glacier walking, learning mountaineering skills, ice climbing, photography, climbing a mountain, or simply enjoying the scenery from close to the mountain hut.

Other related trips

Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike

New Zealand Mountaineering Course


Sample Itinerary

This sample itinerary is based on a Mt Cook Glacier Trekking Expedition trip run at the head of the Tasman Glacier from Tasman Saddle Hut.

Day 1

Your guide will pick you up from your accomodation in Queenstown at 8.30am. After checking your gear it's a 3 hour drive to Mt Cook airport. Once we arrive at the airport we will do an aircraft safety briefing before flying into the mountains by ski plane or helicopter, the scenery from the air is incredible as our aircraft takes us up the path of the glacier to our landing spot on the Neve at the head of the Tasman glacier and Tasman Saddle Hut. In the afternoon your guide will teach you how to use an ice axe and crampons.

Please not the New Zealand mountains are subject to periods of poor weather and sometimes the aircraft cannot fly into the mountains on the first day. If we are delayed we will base ourselves at Mt Cook village and explore the incredible local hiking tracks and scenery. We will fly into the mountain at the first opportunity.

Mt Cook glacier trekking expedition 2

Day 2

Good morning! You are now waking up in a New Zealand alpine hut situated on one of New Zealand's largest glacier, the scenery is simply incredible! Today we will explore our local surroundings with a climb to Aylmer Col, a spectacular view point on the main divide of New Zealand's Southern Alps, from the col you can look down over the west coast glaciers and out towards the Tasman Sea . The day starts with a lesson on glacier travel on how to travel safely on a rope while walking amongst crevasses.  

Mt Cook glacier trekking expedition

Day 3

Today we will hike to the north western side of Hochstetter Dome and Lendenfield Saddle. For fit and adventurous groups a climb of Hochstetter or Mt Aylmer is possible.

Day 4

Todays adventure takes us on a journey down the Tasman Glacier, we will zig zag our way down crevasse fields under the mountains on the eastern side of the main divide travelling until we meet the confluence of the Darwin and Tasman Glaciers where we will meet our helicopter or ski plane for a flight out of the mountains. We will then drive back to Queenstown.


Prices are per person and in NZ dollars.


Map 2014

Flight in included


The Mt Cook Glacier Trekking Expedition runs from October to April. 

Experience Required

No previous mountaineering experience is required for this trip. You need to be comfortable travelling untracked areas and over uneven terrain.

Whats Included

The price of the trip includes

  • Guide fees
  • Aircraft access fees
  • Technical equipment hire
  • Hut fees
  • Meals and snacks
  • Ground transport
  • Group equipment

The price of the trip excludes

  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Aircraft egress fees
  • Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka

Program Location

The Mt Cook Glacier Trekking Expedition will be based from a high mountain hut at the head of the Tasman Glacier or from Plateau hut directly beneath Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. 

More Information

detailed trip notesequipment listFAQ