Mt. Cook Hermitage Hotel
Even if you’re not staying here, the Hermitage Hotel is worth a stop. Many guided tours depart from the hotel, making a day trip to the terminal lake of Tasman Glacier convenient. Tackle the national park trails on foot or let a guide lead you around Tasman Valley in a 4WD vehicle. Hooker Valley leads hikers over the namesake river via swing bridge. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve provides the opportunity to stargaze year-round, while helicopters tours with snow landings make the most of the alpine scenery.
The hotel has several well-regarded dining options with phenomenal views. The Panorama Room offers food à la carte, while the Alpine Restaurant serves buffet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. There’s also an informal self-service café. Drinks and pub-style meals can be found at the Chamois Bar & Grill, and visitors can sip a cocktail at the Snowline Lounge beside a crackling fireplace—another essential Mt. Cook experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
Free Wi-Fi is available to guests and to visitors who use a credit card for hotel services at the lounge or café.
Bring a camera to capture unforgettable views of Mt. Cook/Aoraki, which looms 12,217 feet (3,724 meters) high.
Sturdy hiking shoes are a must for anyone trekking on nearby trails.
The Hermitage is a great place to get oriented to the region’s offerings.
Book tours and accommodations well ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
How to Get There
The Hermitage is located on Terrace Road in the alpine village, about 34 miles (55 kilometers) from the Lake Pukaki/state Highway 8 turnoff between Christchurch (a 4.5-hour drive) and Queenstown (a 3.5-hour drive). Sightseeing tours to or from either destination provide an ideal way to see nearby attractions; most offer pickup and drop-off at your accommodation.
When to Get There
Late January until March is the warmest period, with high temps around 67°F (19°C). Boat tours on the lake at Tasman Glacier mostly operate from September through the end of May. Hooker Valley walks operate year-round, while alpine treks typically run from mid-November until the end of April. All outdoor options depend on weather conditions.
Built on the present site in 1884, The Hermitage has seen several incarnations due to fire and flood. The current building dates from the late 1950s, with a new multistory wing that was added in the past decade. Visitors can discover more about its history with a look at museum artifacts on display at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.