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Hiking the Governors Bush Track, Mount Cook National Park

Hiking the Governors Bush Track, Mount Cook National Park

This short, easy hike takes you up through exotic forest to viewpoints above Mount Cook Village. You’ll see heaps of mountains, a waterfall, and some great views and you can combine it with the nearby Red Tarns Track for a more challenging hike. Keep reading for more information about this short walk in Mount Cook National Park!

Hiking the Governors Bush Track

From the car park in Mount Cook Village you’ll soon be walking uphill through the bright green forest. This is one of the few forested areas in this area, which makes it quite different to the other hikes nearby. It had snowed a couple of days before we visited and so it was interesting to see a forest track like this with snow on it.

After a bit of uphill hiking you’ll come to a ridge featuring some great views of the valley below. We also saw a waterfall, but it was obscured by trees. From the top of the track you’ll then head down through the forest (not the way you came though) and eventually down to a crossroads close to town. Left will take you back to the car park but turn right and you’ll join up with the Red Tarns Track. The Red Tarns Track features some of the best mountain views you could ever hope to see — check out my post about it for more information!

Getting to the Governors Bush Track

The track starts in Mount Cook Village (towards the end of the road). There’s a small car park and bathroom. You can also head straight to the Red Tarns from this car park. The drive to Mount Cook Village is breath-taking — even if you’re not up for much hiking I’d still recommend visiting. The Governors Bush Track certainly isn’t the only (or best) hike in the area — check out my posts about the Hooker Valley / Kea Point / Red Tarns / Tasman Glacier hikes and you’ll see what I mean!

Are you planning a trip to Mount Cook National Park? Which hikes are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.