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The BEST Mount Cook ACCOMMODATION – Ultimate Guide

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. With a range of accommodation options, you will have sensational views of the surrounding mountains from most of the Mount Cook hotels. The huge benefit of staying in Mount Cook is that you have immediate access to the breathtaking alpine landscapes. This means that you 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 to options of accommodation in Mount Cook NP. Therefore we highly recommend booking your stay far in advance. In this complete guide you’ll find the best Mount Cook accommodation.  

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Is it worth staying at Mount Cook? 

Absolutely yes! There are several reasons why it is well worth staying overnight in Mount Cook Village. One of the main reasons is that you can be one of the first to hit the beautiful trails in Mount Cook National Park, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes without the crowds

Staying in Mount Cook National Park also means you are in the International Dark Sky Reserve. With no light pollution, you will be able to watch the cosmos and explore the wonders of the night sky which is an unforgettable experience. 

The Mount Cook hotels are a bit on the pricier side through, but staying in one of the most beautiful National Parks of New Zealand is worth the price tag. Another reason is that the hotels in Mount Cook have to pay the Department of Conservation a concession fee. If you are traveling on a tight budget then there are also motel units and dorm rooms available in Mount Cook Village. And if you are exploring New Zealand by camper van, then there are camping options available at the White Horse Hill Campsite which has 60 non-powered campsites for tents and campervans. Other campsites can be found in Glentanner or outside of Twizel. 

With many great accommodation options in Mount Cook National Park, you will be assured of an unforgettable stay in one of the most beautiful National Parks in New Zealand.

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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, including the dark starry night skies. Mount Cook was our favourite place on the South Island and it was hard to leave this breathtaking place. Before booking your accommodation in Mount Cook, there are a few things you need to know.

  • There is NO supermarket in Mount Cook Village. 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 exploring Mt Cook NP. With that being said, you need to take into account that if you want to cook yourself in the shared or private kitchen of your hostel or motel, you have to do all your groceries upfront.
  • There are not many restaurants in Mount Cook Village. Your only options are The Hermitage or Chamois Bar. The Hermitage also provides a breakfast buffet in their Alpine Restaurant from 7 am-10 am with incredible mountain views.
  • Fill your car or campervan with fuel before entering Mt Cook NP. You can buy petrol in Mount Cook Village, but it is much more expensive than in Twizel or Lake Tekapo.
  • There is no ATM in the Mount Cook Village. While you don’t necessarily need cash, it is good to know.

Best Mount Cook Accommodations

Luxury Mount Cook accommodation

The Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook

The iconic Hermitage Hotel is one 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 of Aoraki Mt Cook from every angle. Because of its location, the great reviews, and outstanding hospitality, The Hermitage is often fully booked. Especially in high season. So if you want to secure a hotel room at The Hermitage, you have to book weeks, if not months, in advance. 

The Hermitage has a variety of hotel rooms and luxury suites from premier king to twin beds and rooms with two queen beds, all with stunning mountain views. The onsite dining room 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. 

Check current prices and book your stay at The Hermitage here

Hermitage Mount Cook
Hermitage Mount Cook room view
Photo Credits: The Hermitage

Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat

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 of 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 villas, all with breathtaking views. They do differ in amenities whereas some villas have a hot tub and sauna, while others don’t. The views are absolutely out of this world and the stylish rooms and luxury touch make 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 to 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 a fine dining establishment called Moraine Lodge which offers a multi-course, seasonal tasting menu, designed to showcase the flavors of the Mackenzie region. So if you’re looking for a special dinner, make sure to secure your table for a gastronomic adventure! All in all, this amazing luxury accommodation is the perfect base to explore Mt Cook NP and would be the best option to celebrate a special occasion.

Check current prices and book your stay at Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat here

Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat room
Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat pool
Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat hottub
Photo Credits: Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat

Pukaki Lakeside Getaway

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 couple of friends. 

Both three and four-bedroom holiday homes have single and double beds with a 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 center of Twizel makes Pukaki Lakeside Getaway a very convenient location to stay near Mt Cook. 

Check current prices and availability at Pukaki Lakeside Getaway here

Pukaki Lakeside Getaway view
Pukaki Lakeside Getaway cottage
Photo Credits: Pukaki Lakeside Getaway

Lakestone Lodge

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 town center 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 of an unforgettable experience. It’s a great place for couples but also for large groups or families with the option of booking their 6-bedroom house.

Check availability and current prices per night at Lakestone Lodge here

Lakestone Lodge breakfast views
Lakestone Lodge bathroom views
Photo Credits: Lakestone Lodge

Mid-range Mount Cook accommodation

Aoraki Court Motel 

Aoraki Court Motel is a modern accommodation featuring great views of the surrounding mountains. All motel rooms have a patio with mountain views, an ensuite bathroom, and a fridge with kitchenware. The spacious rooms have a touch of luxury but are quite affordable compared to the price. With an average of 9.2 on Booking with great reviews, you know this Mt Cook accommodation option is one of the best, so book fast!

 Check here the availability and rates for Aoraki Court Motel

Aoraki Court Motel
Aoraki Court Motel room view
Photo Credits: Aoraki Court Motel

Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge 

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 of 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 a warming fireplace to relax after a day of exploring. 

Check here the availability and current prices at Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge

Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge
Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge room view
Photo Credits: Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge

Aoraki Alpine Chalet

This cosy three-bedroom chalet comes with in total of 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. 

Check here availability and current prices for Aoraki Alpine Chalet

Aoraki Alpine Chalet patio
Aoraki Alpine Chalet dining
Photo Credits: Aoraki Alpine Chalet

Mount Cook Lodge and Motel

Another great value-for-money accommodation in Mount Cook is Mt Cook Lodge and Motel. Located right in the center of Mount Cook Village 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 a kitchen to prepare your own meals. Or the double or twin room with only tea and coffee making facilities. The onsite Chamois Bar & Grill offers pub-style meals, so you won’t necessarily need the kitchen facilities. This Mt Cook Motel is great value for money and a perfect base to explore the National Park.

 Secure here your room at Mount Cook Lodge and Motel

Mt Cook Lodge and Motel room
Mt Cook Lodge and Motel views
Photo Credits: Mt Cook Lodge and Motel

Budget Mt Cook accommodation

Haka House Aoraki Mt Cook 

Formerly known as YHA Mt. Cook Hostel, the YHA Mount Cook hostel chain is now called Haka House which is a great option if you’re on a tight budget. It is the most affordable accommodation in Mount Cook perfect for backpackers. With a selection of twin rooms, double rooms, family units, and dorm rooms there is something for every budget.

All toilet and bathroom facilities are shared including the kitchen, living room, and lounge area with a fireplace. Despite this being a hostel with clean, basic facilities, there are plenty of options for private rooms. Besides that, the rustic interior does give a bit of a cozy log cabin feel. It’s a great option for an affordable price in Mount Cook.

Secure here your room at Haka House Mount Cook

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Photo Credits: Haka House Mt Cook

Glentanner Park Centre

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 Holiday Park Centre.

They offer a wide variety of room types for every budget. From self-contained cabins with fully equipped kitchens to dormitory rooms and campsites. 

If you don’t book a room with its own kitchenette you can use the shared kitchen with a 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!

Check here prices and availability at Glentanner Park Centre

Glentanner Park Centre
Glentanner Park Centre cabin
Photo Credits: Glentanner Park Centre

FAQ about staying in Mount Cook

Why should you stay in Mount Cook National Park?

The most important reason why you should stay in Mount Cook National Park is to be very close to the amazing trails in the park. This allows you to explore the beauty of the park before most other people arrive. 

The views from most of the hotel rooms are also extraordinary with sensational views of the surrounding mountains. It truly is one of the best places on the South Island of New Zealand and worth experiencing for at least 2 days.  

How many days do you need in Mount Cook?

I recommend staying at least one night in Mount Cook Village. This allows you to walk the most popular tracks such as Hooker Valley and Tasman Glacier viewpoint, and gives you enough time for other activities such as a boat ride over Tasman Lake or a scenic flight over Mount Cook. 

If you can plan 2 nights in Mount Cook, it would be the absolute best. This allows you to explore more trails such as Sealy Tarns track or the more challenging Mount Wakefield track and do more and longer activities such as an epic helicopter flight with a glacier heli hike.

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Is there reception at Mt Cook?

Yes, Mount Cook Village has great coverage on all New Zealand cell networks. However, while you do get phone reception in Mt Cook Village, elsewhere in the park there is very limited service. Nevertheless, all Mount Cook accommodations offer fast free wifi, so after exploring you can easily catch up with your family and friends. 

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 are the remains of this glacial activity, and the park’s rugged terrain is a testament to the power of the glaciers.

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 you a chance to experience the beauty and majesty of the Southern Alps and New Zealand wilderness.

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How to get around in New Zealand 

To experience New Zealand to the fullest and at your own pace, renting a carcampervan 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 in 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 recommend a mini SUV or SUV model to have enough clearance for this kind of road. 

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 pickup date.

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Campervan rental in New Zealand

Traveling around in a campervan is one of the most popular ways for a road trip 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 give you a true feeling of freedom and fully connects you with nature.

We recommend booking your campervan with Travellers Autobarn. They have a wide range of Station wagons, 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, a 10% discount to premium campgrounds, 24/7 roadside assistance & long-term rental discounts. Check the availability and prices today to secure your campervan for a New Zealand dream road trip!

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 next adventure in New Zealand!

South Island New Zealand guides

35 best photo spots on the South Island of New Zealand

20 best day hikes on South Island New Zealand – The Ultimate Guide

Queenstown 

30 best things to do in Queenstown – The Ultimate Guide

22 best photo spots in Queenstown – The Ultimate Guide

20 best Queenstown restaurants – The Complete Guide

16 best hikes in Queenstown – The Ultimate Guide

12 best helicopter tours Queenstown – The Complete Guide

10 best wine tours in Queenstown – The Complete Guide

Wanaka

22 best things to do in Wanaka – The Ultimate Guide

15 best walks in Wanaka – The Complete Guide

Where to stay in Wanaka – The Complete Guide

Mount Cook National Park

20 best things to do in Mount Cook National Park

Amazing Mount Cook helicopter flights you must do

12 best Mt Cook walks – The Ultimate Guide

Hooker Valley Track – The Complete Guide

Sealy Tarns track – The Complete Guide

Glenorchy

20 best things to do in Glenorchy – The Ultimate Guide

Glenorchy walkway & lagoon track – The Complete Guide

Earnslaw Burn glacier valley and waterfalls – The Complete Guide

Fiordland National Park

20 best things to do in Milford Sound – The Ultimate Guide

6 best Milford Sound Scenic Flights – The Complete Guide

Lake Marian Track – The Complete Guide

Milford Sound Cruise – The Complete Guide

Key Summit track – The Complete Guide

Gertrude Saddle Hike – The Complete Guide

Franz Josef Glacier Country

Best Franz Josef heli hike tours –  All You Need to Know

15 best walks in Franz Josef – The Ultimate Guide

Lake Matheson Walk – The Complete Guide

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