Winter in Aoraki has to be one of the most visually spectacular times to visit. We’re surrounded by snow-capped mountains, cold temperatures, and dark skies. Come and enjoy a weekend with us at the Hermitage.

Friday evening

A weekend in Aoraki/Mount Cook calls for an early finish from work. On arrival check in to your room with a view as the sun starts setting on mighty Aoraki. At Snowline Bar, Friday drinks never looked so good. Relax with a glass of wine and a cheese platter in front of the roaring fire. Don’t get too comfortable though as your weekend of adventure starts now. Journey through the skies at our indoor 360-degree digital dome planetarium where science meets entertainment in this guided indoor stargazing experience.


As soon as you wake, we recommend pulling back the curtains so you can enjoy the views and the grandeur of the National Park from the comfort of your bed. Once it’s time for coffee, head down to Alpine Restaurant for a delicious buffet breakfast. A big day of exploring is ahead so we recommend fuelling up, and with so much choice it won’t be hard.

You can’t come to the National Park and not explore the Hooker Valley, one of the most popular walks in the park. A fairly flat gradient means it is suitable for most fitness levels. Start the walk from the hotel at the Kea Point Track or take a short drive to the White Horse Hill campground car park. At 10km return it is minimal effort for so much reward. You will cross three impressive swing bridges, the Instagram famous boardwalk, where a picture with mighty Aoraki in the background is a must and wide valley floors. At Hooker Lake enjoy the breathtaking view of mighty Aoraki as it towers over you. 

No doubt after all the adventure you have worked up an appetite. Pop into the Sir Edmund Hillary Café for a famous Fairlie Bakehouse pie and a coffee.

Spend the afternoon checking out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Explore the history of this iconic region. Learn about humanitarian, ambassador, and one of the world’s greatest explorers, Sir Edmund Hillary, and check out some of the fascinating movies being shown in the movie theatre.

Dinner tonight is at Alpine Restaurant, enjoy a delicious buffet with a wide variety of local and international dishes while taking in some of the best restaurant views in New Zealand.

After dinner, it’s time to rug up and head out to explore the night sky with Big Sky Stargazing. Take a short drive with our team to the star base before you embark on a mesmerising journey through the cosmos under the world’s largest Gold Tier Dark Sky Reserve. Our resident astronomy guides will take you on a 90-minute tour of the night sky through high-powered telescopes along with showing you incredible features visible to the naked eye. Enjoy a hot chocolate to keep you warm before heading back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.


There is nothing like some fresh mountain air to start the day, so if you're feeling adventurous why don't you start the day with a walk along Kea Point. An easy, flat 3km return walk that will take you to a viewing point that gives stunning views of Mount Sefton, Mueller Glacier lake, and Aoraki/Mount Glacier. Back at the hotel you have earned your buffet breakfast.

While it might be time to check out and hit the road, there is one last stop before you head home. Although our Glacier Explorers boats are off the water during winter, the walk to Tasman Lake is not to be missed. A short drive from the hotel through the Tasman Valley will take you to the start of a 2.5km walk to the Tasman Glacial Lake to view New Zealand's largest glacier.

The view from the lookout is spectacular but not as good as the view from the water. You might just have to come back in the summer for another visit so you can experience the ultimate ice adventure on Glacier Explorers.

It's been a weekend well spent in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, enjoying incredible experiences and making lasting memories. Until next time!

Check out our winter specials and book your winter weekend now!