Normality is a paved road, it is comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.
- Vincent Van Gogh
Jasmine Ayla is a free-lance writer, traveler and amateur photographer based out of Maui, Hawaii, USA.
Sealy Tarns (Mueller Hut Route)
Location: Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park, Canterbury Region, South Island, New Zealand
Elevation: 3,976m (13,045ft) - the summit
Difficulty level: Advanced
Trail length: 5.8 (3.6mi) - the summit is 10.4km (6.46mi)
Elevation gain: 547m (1,795ft)
Camping / Huts: Yes / Yes (scroll down for more info)
Date hiked: 2011
We only made it up the first half of this trek - we had some reasonably sore legs from completing the Liverpool Hut track the day before, and deep snow also stopped us from getting more than half-way (we turned around at the Sealy Tarns mark), but it is definitely on the list to be completed for future adventures 'across the ditch' (that's what the locals call the ocean between Australia & New Zealand). The views from half way up to the hut were already mindboggling… and walking up to the Sealy Tarns is a great day walk if you're in the Mt Cook National Park.
Description: 1 - 2 day hike (we only did the first two hours)
Organize before hike:
1) Fill out an Intentions Form at the DOC (Department of Conservation) in Queenstown. This is required, and if you miss returning on your specified date, someone besides your Mom will worry about you and hopefully arrange a rescue.
2) Buy hut passes through the DOC website well ahead of time as it is often booked out – also required it you are camping – ($15-$30)
Trail: From what we saw, well-maintained, mostly hard-packed dirt, at times rocky or loose gravel.