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Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Mt Cook  »  Bowen Bush Walk

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It takes only a few steps onto the track for the canopy of the trees to engulf you. One minute you are standing on the edge of the road, the next you are lost in the forest. The trailhead has a bench, part of which you can see from the sidewalk, but it is mostly surrounded by the trees. Sitting on the part of the bench that is hidden from the road, you can easily be hidden in plain sight. It is a nice place to sit for a moment and take in the trees and, if there aren’t many cars driving by, the sound of the birds. 

Moving on past the bench, you will immediately encounter a set of steps going up. At the top of the steps, the loop begins. This means that you can go left or right. Either way, the track will loop you back to the top of this staircase.

Alternatively, about halfway through the walk, you will see another path veering off, though it might not be apparent. This path, instead of leading you back up to the top of the staircase, will lead you to the Mount Cook Lodge.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 10-15 minutes
        • Distance: 0.2 km
        • Difficulty: Very easy
        • Bikes allowed: No
        • Route: Loop
        • Elevation: None
        • Wet Feet: Yes, after heavy rain
        • Toilets: There are toilets at the public shelter that is located a short walk from the trailhead.
        • Dogs: No, dogs are not allowed in the national park.
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
        • Last Updated: April, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    A very short and easy walk that allows a glimpse into some of the flora in the national park. The steps on the track alternate between ascending and descending, making the walk more of a mini-workout if you want to pick up the pace. Otherwise, it is really a leisurely, calming walk. 

  • Track Quality

    The track is maintained and cared for by the Department of Conservation.

  • Hazards


  • Transport

    Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is only accessible by car or tour buses including GreatSights, Clark’s and the Cook Connection. There is no public transportation within the National Park.

  • Water

    The public shelter also has drinking water.

  • Driving Instructions

    The trailhead is opposite the petrol station in the village. At the T intersection at the end of the main road leading into Mount Cook, turn left and follow that smaller road until you reach the petrol station. You will be able to park there.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    The Hermitage hotel offers a buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel also has an a la carte restaurant for dinner, and a cafe that runs from 8:30am to 4:30pm. There is also a gift shop and museum in the hotel.

    The Mount Cook Lodge and Motels has a pub and grill that opens at 3pm and serves food until 10pm.

    The Old Mountaineer’s Cafe runs from 10am to 7:30pm but shuts between 3:30pm and 5:00pm.

    These are all within 5 to 10 minutes walk from the Bowen Bush trailhead.

  • Area & Track History

    The national park and its famous mountain gets its name from Maori legend. Aoraki and his three brothers, the sons of Rakinui, the Sky father, set out on a discovery of the Earth Mother in their canoe. The canoe was struck by a reef. The brothers climbed onto the top of the canoe and they froze and turned to stone. The South Island of New Zealand represents the canoe, while the brothers are the Southern Alps—the tallest being Aoraki (Mount Cook).

    European settlers changed the name of the mountain from Aoraki to Mount Cook, but the mountain was once more renamed Aoraki Mount Cook to acknowledge its Maori heritage.

    The mountain has also been climbed by Sir Edmund Hillary, who went on to climb Mount Everest.

    The Bowen Bush track itself does not have any significant history.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

Map of Bowen Bush Track showing route & zoom in/out

Here is the map for Bowen Bush Walk showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

3D Map of Bowen Bush Track showing route

Here is the 3D map for Bowen Bush Walk near Mt Cook Village.

3d Map view of Bowen Bush Track Walk in Mt Cook, South Island, New Zealand

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Contact info

Aoraki Mount Cook Village 7999, New Zealand

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