There is general consensus that Mount Cook village in bad weather -- unfortunately the weather tends to be bad quite often there -- would be the perfect setting for an episode of "X-Files" or the like. All the buildings are in a monochrome, darkish grey-brown colour and beehive appearance and cling to the foot of a mountain range (no, not Mount Cook) like some weird kind of parasite. Sunshine and summer bring out colorful parasols and brighten everything up a bit, but not enough to make many like this place. The best thing about it probably is that it is so very small that it's not hard to take one's eye off it and marvel at the surrounding mountainscapes. Mountains are what it's all about here, anyways. You can leave your Mount Cook hostel to trek through mountains, walk along mountains, climb mountains, paddle in mountain lakes, ride around mountains, fly above mountains, and ski in mountains. Don't like mountains? Bad choice -- Mount Cook village has hardly anything to offer, not even a general store. It's just accommodation next to accommodation, a Sir Edmund Hillary centre, and an info point. Oh, and the most expensive gas station in New Zealand. Not even the tour operator would set up a tent here, instead letting the Mount Cook hostels/hotels do the bookings.
There are a handful of Mount Cook hostels to choose from, and if park regulations don't change in the near future, this isn't going to change due to building restrictions. A few of the hostels are right in the village and offer meals all day long, which is a good thing as there are no shopping options. They also come with the regular hostel amenities such as expensive internet, self-catering kitchen, and common areas.
Hi, I'm gagalichen,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Mount Cook hostels. Welcome.