Staying in Mount Cook National Park for one or more nights is the best way to explore the beauty of New Zealand’s largest mountains and glaciers. The huge benefit is that you’ll have immediate access to breathtaking alpine landscapes, glaciers and pristine lakes and that can start exploring the Mt Cook walks early before the crowds arrive. But with Mount Cook Village being the only, very small town in the National Park, you are limited for options of accommodation in Mount Cook NP. Therefore we highly recommend to book your stay far in advance. In this complete guide you’ll find the best Mount Cook accommodation.
What you need to know about staying in Mount Cook National Park
Staying in Mount Cook National Park will be an unforgettable experience. It allows you to fully immerse yourself in the park’s stunning landscapes and experience the beauty from sunrise to sunset. But there are a few things you need to know to be well prepared before booking your Mount Cook accommodation.
The most important is that there is NO supermarket or other facilities around. Mount Cook Village only consists of a few hotels, motels, lodges and a campground. If you need something in particular, make sure to buy it at the last town you’ll pass before entering Mt Cook NP which is either Twizel or Lake Tekapo. This means snacks, particular drinks or other things you might need when hiking Mt Cook NP.
With that being said, you also need to take into account that if you want to cook yourself in the shared or private kitchen of your motel, you have to do all your groceries upfront. Or you can dine in at The Hermitage for example, but there are not much other public restaurants in Mount Cook National Park.
BEST MOUNT COOK ACCOMMODATION TO STAY
Luxury Mount Cook accommodation
The Hermitage is an iconic hotel in Mount Cook National Park and is some of the most famous hotels in New Zealand. And that’s because it has some of the very best views in the whole country. You will have stunning views on Aoraki Mt Cook from every angle. So because of this and the great quality and hospitality, The Hermitage is always fully booked. Especially in high season. So if you want to secure a room at The Hermitage, you have to book weeks, if not months, in advance.
The Hermitage has a variety of rooms and suites from premier king to twin beds and rooms with two queen beds, all with stunning mountain views. The onsite dining and bars offer guests a variety of options to relax and indulge in delicious food after a day of exploring. With free parking your rental car is close to your room and all Mt Cook trails are at your doorstep as well.
If you’ve managed to secure your room at the Hermitage you will be in for a treat, because the views from your hotel in New Zealand can’t get much better than this! A truly unique and exclusive experience right in the heart of Mt Cook NP.
Photo Credits: The Hermitage
Located on the southern end of Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is not directly located in Mt Cook National Park, but it does have incredible views on Mt Cook and Lake Pukaki. It’s a 30 minute drive to the entrance of Mt Cook along some of the most beautiful roads in New Zealand.
This stunning country estate has incredibly luxury one and two bedroom villa’s, all with breathtaking views. They do differ in amenities whereas some villa’s have their own hot tub and sauna, while others haven’t. The views are absolutely out of this world and the stylish rooms and luxury touch makes it hard to leave.
The huge benefit of Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is that it’s only a 7-minute drive to Twizel which has some great restaurants to go for dinner. So in comparison to staying in Mt Cook Village, you do have some more options of going out. But, Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat also has their own fine dining establishment called Moraine Lodge which offers a multi-course, seasonal tasting menu, designed to showcase the flavours of the Mackenzie region. So if you’re looking for a special dinner, make sure to secure your table for a gastronomic adventure!
Photo Credits: Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat
The lovely three and four bedroom cottages of Pukaki Lakeside Getaway are nestled along Lake Pukaki on a hilltop. With stunning panoramic views of Mt Cook and the surrounding farmlands, Pukaki Lakeside Getaway is the perfect place to recharge with family or a a couple of friends.
Both three and four bedroom holiday homes have single and double beds with bathroom, a private patio, lake views, satellite flat-screen TV and a fully-equipped kitchen. Only a 30 minute drive to the entrance of Mt Cook NP or a 10 minute drive to the centre of Twizel makes Pukaki Lakeside Getaway a very convenient location to stay near Mt Cook.
Photo Credits: Pukaki Lakeside Getaway
Lakestone Lodge is beautifully located along the southern shores of Lake Pukaki. It’s a 40 minute drive to Mount Cook Village and 10 minutes to the closest town of Twizel. Every room and bathroom at Lakestone Lodge features stunning views. With a cozy fireplace and pool overlooking the breathtaking Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook, you will be assured for an unforgettable experience.
Photo Credits: Lakestone Lodge
Mid range Mount Cook accommodation
Aoraki Court Motel is a modern accommodation featuring great views of the surrounding mountains. All rooms have a patio with mountain views, ensuite bathroom and a fridge with kitchenware. The spacious rooms have a touch of luxury but are quite affordable comparing the price. With an average of 9.3 on Booking you know this accommodation is a great choice, so book fast!
Photo Credits: Aoraki Court Motel
Right next door located of Aoraki Alpine Chalet is Aoraki Alpine Lodge. This property is the perfect option if you’re traveling as a couple or alone as Aoraki Alpine Lodge has 16 ensuite rooms varying from double rooms to one bedroom apartments and family rooms.
Booking your stay at Aoraki Alpine Lodge is fantastic value for money and without a doubt some of the best Mount Cook accommodation. The stunning views on the mountain range and a communal dining area where you can prepare your own food are a huge plus. And besides that there is a great lounge area with warming fireplace to relax after a day of exploring.
Photo Credits: Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge
This cosy three bedroom chalet comes with in total seven beds and is the perfect family home away from home. Located right in the heart of Mount Cook Village and with all the amenities you need such as a fully equipped kitchen, dishwasher, oven, barbecue and the absolute best views, you can make this the perfect getaway with family or friends.
Photo Credits: Aoraki Alpine Chalet
Another great value for money Mt Cook accommodation. Mt Cook Lodge and Motel is right in the centre of Mount Cook Village located with all the best things to do in Mount Cook National Park at your doorstep.
With a variety of rooms to choose from, you can either go for the Motel studio including kitchen to prepare your own meals. Or the double or twin room with only tea and coffee making facilities.
Photo Credits: Mt Cook Lodge and Motel
Budget Mt Cook accommodation
Located along the shores of Lake Pukaki on a 15 minute drive from Mt Cook NP you will find the comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation of Glentanner Park Centre.
The offer a wide variety of room types for every budget. From self-contained cabins with full equipped kitchen to dormitory rooms and camp sites.
If you don’t book a room with own kitchenette you can use the shared kitchen with barbecue area, bathrooms and lounge area. But there is also an onsite cafe that serves daily breakfast and lunch which is the perfect start of the day including a delicious coffee with the best views!
Photo Credits: Glentanner Park Centre
The most basic but therefore affordable Mt Cook accommodation is YHA Mt Cook. With a selection of twin rooms, double rooms, family rooms and dormitory rooms there is something for every budget. All toilet and bathroom facilities are shared including the kitchen and lounge area with a fireplace.
Photo Credits: YHA Mt Cook
About Mount Cook National Park
Aoraki Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand standing at 3,724 meters (12,218 feet) tall. The combination of collision of tectonic plates that uplifted from the surface and glacial activity formed the Southern Alps over millions of years.
During the last ice age, which ended around 11,000 years ago, glaciers covered much of the South Island, carving out valleys and leaving behind moraines and glacial lakes. The valleys and peaks of the Southern Alps bear the marks of this glacial activity, and the park’s rugged terrain is a testament to the power of the glaciers.
Mount Cook’s unique combination of tectonic and glacial activity has created a breathtaking natural wonder that draws visitors from all over the world.
Mount Cook National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With numerous trails that cater to all skill levels, from easy walks to challenging multi-day hikes, there are plenty of options for walks in Mt Cook National Park.
Overall, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a breathtaking natural wonder, offering visitors a chance to experience the beauty and majesty of the Southern Alps and New Zealand wilderness.
How to get around in New Zealand
To experience New Zealand to the fullest and at your own pace, renting a car, campervan or motorhome is the best way to get around. Whether you rent a car or campervan depends on your preference and budget. If you love camping, being outdoors all day and you don’t mind a smaller living space, then renting a camper van is the way to go. It also gives you the freedom to sleep at some of the most beautiful camping spots, but for some of them you’ll have to make a reservation and plan your trip accordingly. The same goes for a motorhome which is bigger than a campervan and fits about 4-6 people. Here’s what you need to know about renting a car, camper van or motorhome in New Zealand.
Car rental New Zealand
Renting a car in New Zealand is the easiest and cheapest rental vehicle available. It will get you to all the best destinations with ease and gives you the freedom to stop for a break wherever you want. However, you should keep in mind that some roads in New Zealand are still gravel or that you have to cross shallow rivers to some destinations in National Parks. Therefore we personally recommend a mini SUV or SUV model to have enough clearance for these kind of roads.
The best place to book your rental car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare different car models, prices, companies and terms and conditions. Make sure to secure the booking of your rental car as soon as possible to have the lowest price possible. Prices go up the closer you get to the pick up date.
Campervan rental in New Zealand
Traveling around in a campervan is one of the most popular ways for a roadtrip in New Zealand. With a bed, small kitchen and seating area you will have all the (basic) needs on four wheels. A campervan allows you to camp at plenty of beautiful places, sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee. It will you give you a true feeling of freedom and connects you with nature. We personally recommend to book your campervan with Travellers Autobarn. They have a wide range of Stationwagons, 2-berth campervans & 3-5 berth campervans to hire for all budgets. All Travellers Autobarn campervan hires in New Zealand come with free unlimited kilometers, 10% discount to premium campgrounds, 24/7 road side assistance & long term rental discounts. Check the availability and prices today to secure your campervan for a New Zealand dream roadtrip!
More New Zealand travel guides
I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about the best Mount Cook accommodation. We have many more New Zealand travel guides, so make sure to check them out for more tips and to plan your ultimate New Zealand road trip!