Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park has been one of my favourite places in all of New Zealand to visit - it's such a naturally stunning area. There's hikes aplenty for all levels of experience, each showing off a different spot in the park.
One of the most difficult hikes goes up to Mueller Hut stopping at Sealy Tarns along the way. I didn't have enough sunshine hours to get all the way to Mueller Hut, but thoroughly enjoyed my trek up to Sealy Tarns. It's an intense hike made up of 2200 steps that climb steadily straight up the mountain to breathtaking panoramic views of Mount Cook, Mueller Glacier, Mueller Lake, Hooker Lake, the Hooker Valley and Mount Cook Village. An icy cold glacial waterfall will provide much needed cooling!
SEALY TARNS HIKE DETAILS
When: year-round and be prepared for changing weather conditions
Where: hike starts at the Mount Cook car park, 2km walk from Mount Cook Village
Difficulty: difficult with 2200 steps heading straight up the mountain
Length: 1 hour each way for 5.8km roundtrip, plus 1/2 hour to walk to and from the village
Directions: from the Mount Cook car park, follow signs for Kea Point then branch off left up the clear trail to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut. Pass the picnic bench at the summit for the best views of Mueller Lake!
Bathrooms: yes, at the carpark
Public Transit: no; you can either walk or drive to the car park from Mount Cook Village