Rainbird Journal

Top 3 Places to Camp in Victoria & the Best Waterproof Hooded Jackets You’ll Need

Feb 22, 2024
Late summer in Victoria, Australia, offers the perfect opportunity to escape into the great outdoors as long as you pack a waterproof hooded jacket. Because Victoria's weather can change so rapidly, not having the appropriate outerwear can easily ruin camping trips.  Whether you're a seasoned camper or a novice looking to embark on your first camping trip, here are the top five places to camp in Victoria this summer, plus what to wear at each location. Camping in Wilsons Promontory National Park Needs a Rainbird Waterproof Jacket Why it’s Great: Wilsons Promontory, affectionately known as "The Prom," is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts located in Gippsland. Its geological beauty is breathtaking as it rests atop an immense granite ridge that surged upward through the frigid waters of Bass Strait. It offers a diverse wilderness landscape including cliffs, hills, mountains, valleys, tidal rivers, sand dunes, and magnificent views. Where to camp: There are countless camping options at The Prom. One of the primary campsites in Wilsons Promontory, Stockyards, is close to the entrance. The most popular campsite though, Tidal River Campground is an extra 35 kilometers drive deeper into the park. What to wear: Wilson’s Prom is coastal and as far south as you can get, so it can get chilly even in Summer. In January and February, opt for lightweight, breathable, waterproof raincoats that allow for layering underneath. For families camping together, don't forget the kids. Bring a colourful children's waterproof jacket Australia to ensure your little one stays visible and extra dry during your adventure. During the other Summer months, opt for thicker, waterproof jackets to give you extra warmth - you’ll need it, especially at night. Lyra Parka - Black Camping in the Grampians National Park Requires a Melbourne Puffer Jacket Why it’s great: For those seeking adventure amidst an inland rugged landscape, Grampians National Park is the ideal destination. Just a few hours' drive from Melbourne, this iconic park features towering sandstone mountains, cascading waterfalls, and ancient Aboriginal rock art sites. Our top tip: Don’t miss a refreshing dip in the Venus Baths, located in Stony Creek.  Where to camp: The Grampians National Park is vast, spanning around 1,600 km2, making camping options seemingly endless. Here are a few favourites: Borough Huts Campground, nestled in the serene Grampians, provides a cosy retreat for nature lovers. It offers basic amenities including fire pits, drop toilets, and picnic tables. Surrounded by pristine wilderness, it offers an ideal setting for hiking and wildlife observation, where encounters with kangaroos and kookaburras are common. Kalymna Falls Campground offers a breathtaking tranquil and scenic haven for nature enthusiasts, featuring well-spaced campsites and fire pits in the serene surroundings of the Grampians. While the campground offers basic amenities, including a small car park, it doesn't offer to individual pitches, featuring only five camping platforms. This makes it one of the smaller, more exclusive camping options in the Grampians. Tip: The campgrounds are managed by Parks Victoria, so check their website before you travel. Camping on Phillip Island Calls for a Windproof and Waterproof Hooded Jacket What to pack: Located inland, the Grampians can get cold at night and hold the chilly weather throughout the day. For chilly mornings and evenings, consider packing a Melbourne puffer jacket that easily rolls into your pack. As the Grampians campsites are both basic and remote, you need jackets that cover all bases. Pack jackets blending insulation with waterproof fabric to keep you warm and dry, no matter the weather. Why it’s great: Phillip Island is renowned for its wildlife encounters and stunning coastal scenery. Camp by the beach and wake up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore, or stay in a caravan park with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Explore the island's walking tracks, visit the famous Penguin Parade, explore the Forrest Caves or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.  Where to camp: Phillip Island has a number of camping options, but here are two very different options to try: Keen on some glamping? At The Sheltered Glamping Co, guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations in well-equipped canvas bell tents or spacious safari tents. These eco-friendly options include amenities such as queen-sized beds, heating, private outdoor showers, and access to communal areas, all set in a serene environment where wallabies and echidnas roam freely. BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Phillip Island, situated on the island's western edge near the bridge to the mainland, offers a secluded retreat close to nature with direct beach access. Alongside standard amenities like an adventure playground and camp kitchen, the park also features unique offerings such as a seasonal outdoor cinema and pedal cars for hire, providing a diverse range of activities for guests. What to pack: Hot summer days at the beach are dreamy, but often disturbed by coastal winds. Don’t let the wind ruin your trip by packing a lightweight, windproof jacket. Look for jackets that offer cord-adjustable cuffs and hoods to keep you cosy even in the strongest breeze. For the ultimate camping jacket for women or men, look for styles that offer an inner fleece layer that can be unzipped, offering extra warmth on cooler nights, or serving as a simple windproof shell in the heat. Victoria offers countless camping destinations for every type of adventurer. Whether you prefer coastal camping, mountain retreats, or bushland adventures, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Before heading off on your camping trip, ensure you pack a great waterproof hooded jacket to stay comfortable and prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Happy camping!

How to Achieve Your New Year Resolution 2024

Jan 25, 2024
Sticking to your new year resolution 2024 can be tough, but there are ways to set yourself up for success. Whether your new year resolution involves health, fitness or getting outdoors more, planning ahead is key. Start by investing in a Rainbird waterproof jacket to help you stick to your resolution when the elements are against you. 1. Set a running goal? Buy a lightweight waterproof running jacket Australia Planning to run a 10k in 2024, but worry the rain will dampen your motivation? Don't let the weather derail your New Year resolution; take control of your goal by investing in a lightweight waterproof running jacket in Australia. Opt for bright colors to enhance visibility, especially if you run near roads or in heavy rain. A waterproof high vis jacket is perfect for grey days and running in areas with traffic.Here's a top tip: choose highly breathable jackets to avoid feeling clammy while running. Look for those with a Moisture Vapour Permeability (MVP) rating of 5,000mpv or higher. And if the scrunching sound of your arms rubbing on your torso while you run bothers you, don’t worry. Excellent lightweight waterproof running jackets in Australia are crafted with 'quiet' fabrics to minimise this noise. 2. Set a cycling goal? A waterproof hi vis jacket will keep you safe and dry during training When you’re training for a fitness goal, you’ll need to stick to a training program no matter the weather. Cycling on the road can be dangerous, and cycling on the road in the rain adds even more risk. To keep you safe and dry, invest in a hi vis fluorescent jacket. From astonishing fluoro yellow to green or orange, you’ll stand out to vehicles as you cycle your heart out and train to help yourself achieve your goal for 2024.If you’re worried about style, Rainbird waterproof jackets in high vis are all unisex, offering the perfect mens or womens waterproof cycling jackets. 3. Want to conquer that hike or traverse that trail in 2024? A lightweight waterproof jacket is key Imagine booking a hike on the Overland Track or The Milford Track as your goal for 2024, only to find your jacket leaks, ruining your hike and decimating your new year resolution? Luckily, a Rainbird waterproof jacket will never let you down. Look for a waterproof rating of 5,000mm to ensure you’ll be nice and dry during your trek. Amazing hiking jackets also offer a 2.5-layered system to keep you extra dry on the trail.This offers a slender laminate inner layer, offering heightened durability and superior waterproofing. Best of all, the lightweight soft-touch fabric keeps you cool and comfortable during warm and damp summer evenings, or can be worn over layers in winter. Top tip: When choosing waterproof jackets, look for seam sealing technology. This nearly imperceptible technique is accomplished using Heat Sealing Tape, which is applied along the seams. Without seam sealing, the minuscule openings created during the sewing process may permit water to penetrate, leaving you feeling moist. Rainbird guarantees that their jackets all incorporate seam sealing technology, with the exception of softshells and puffer jackets. 4. Need more time in nature? Rainbird waterproof jacket styles keep you dry so you can get outside more often Spending more time in nature is one of the most useful new year resolutions thanks to its countless health benefits:A study conducted at Loyola University Health System revealed that taking a stroll in a natural environment markedly reduces the stress hormone cortisol, known to be a trigger for anxiety and depression.Research shows walking in forests and heavily wooded natural areas boost your immunitySounds good right? But this great resolution often falls to the wayside when the weather gets bad. To stick to your resolution, invest in two waterproof jackets; one for winter and one for summer. During summer, look for breathable options like knits and fleeces that are lightweight and wind-proof. In winter, look for heavily insulated jackets that are not only warm, but also waterproof. 5. Decided to spend more family time together away from screens? Prepare your kids with children's waterproof jackets Australia Are you sick of screens dominating your family life? A new year resolution to find time away from screens usually means more family time outdoors. Once the weather starts to change though, it’s all too easy to forget this resolution in favour of an indoor screen fix. So! Stick to your new year resolution by preparing the whole family with waterproof jackets. Not all kids raincoats are created equal though, and poor quality options will leave your kids miserable on wet days. Instead look for features like;Wipeable fabric to ensure easy cleaning.Adjustable hood that conveniently folds into the collar.Extra-longs length to keep little ones dry when sitting on wet surfaces.'Stay dry' stretch sleeves to shield arms during puddle exploration. Generous fit accommodates layering on chilly days and allows room for growth. Better yet, invest in waterproof rainpants for the perfect puddle suit on wet days. With head-to-toe waterproof wear, your kids won’t even notice the rain, staying away from that screen for longer. If you’re a family who loves to match, Rainbird waterproof jackets now offer the STOWaway in childrens and unisex adult sizes and colours. These jackets easily pack away into a tiny pocket to keep you all dry during your outdoor adventures. Sticking to your new year resolution 2024 is easy when you plan ahead. Don’t let the weather get in the way of you achieving your goal by investing in a Rainbird waterproof jacket. Whether you opt for a lightweight shell or a heavy down jacket for winter, you’ll be able to stay outdoors and achieve your new year resolution no matter what.

All About Function

Jun 08, 2023
At Rainbird we have a firm focus on selecting beautiful fabrics that are deceptive in what they provide: waterproof, breathable, durable and soft to touch. Why Waterproof Clothing that can repel water is a core function vital to making sure you can be outdoors for longer in comfort and style.The technology of our fabrics means water that lands on the outer jacket won’t pass through the fabric. This is achieved via a clever membrane layer that’s laminated to the fabric which has teeny tiny pores that prevent water molecules from passing through, but (thanks to fancy fabric technology) it allows moisture vapour (ie your sweat) to be released through it at the same time. How is this tested you ask? Well, we use the Hydrostatic Head Test. Our chief fabric testers take a cutting from the fabric and clamp it to the base of a clear tube. The tube has millimetre measurements marked on it and the tube will then be filled with water. The fabric tester closely monitors it to see how high the tube can be filled with water before small droplets of water seep through the fabric. It’s at this point a reading is taken of how high the water column is. This number equates to the waterproof rating.When shopping our products you’ll see under Features & Specs, some numbers that look something like this: 8,000mm / 5,000mpvThe “mm” number relates to how many millimetres of water the fabric could withstand before it penetrated the fabric. The “mvp” number stands for Moisture Vapor Permeability – which is how breathability is measured. We have all of our laboratory ratings ratified by a governing board to give you (and us) piece of mind that you’re buying into quality and durable products. We test to Australian & New Zealand standards. What does breathability mean? The breathability factor helps regulate your body temperature. We measure this rating on all of our garments through the testing of how many grams of water vapour can pass through a square meter of fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24 hour period. In every day language, we’re talking about your sweat. This will always depend on what you’re doing, whether it’s grabbing a coffee, hiking in the Grampians or cycling to work. Regardless of what Mother Nature is gracing us with that day, be it raining, snowing or glorious sunshine we’re all humans – so we sweat. What you need in your jacket is a high level of breathability. This can be achieved easily when fabric (like ours) can draw the vapour molecules out to the surface of the jacket, and release them outside. The evaporation of sweat and dissipation of vapour is necessary to regulate body temperature. Happy body = happy mind = happy days! We’re sure our sweat likes that it can escape confinement too! Fabrics that breathe provide high comfort and convenience for the wearer – which means that looking good and feeling great aren’t compromised by the weather. At Rainbird we combine our innovative fabrics to be both Waterproof & Breathable through layering the fabric with a Micro-porous membrane in 3 steps.1. Outer layer (which we call the face fabric) will usually have a DWR (durable water repellent) finish applied. This helps Raindrops roll off the material, rather than soak in.2. An inner layer (which is either a laminated membrane bonded to the face fabric or a coating which is a liquid applied to the interior of the garment). This is the clever membrane that keeps raindrops out, but lets your sweat breakout.3. A crucial backing layer or garment lining. This will come in the form of a very fine mesh like layer. Its job is to protect the inner membrane layer and also keep the wearer super comfortable.So hey presto we hear you shout?! Um…unfortunately not. Even though a garment may be labelled as waterproof & breathable… there is still one key element missing. Seam Sealing… keep reading to learn more. What is seam sealing? When a garment is made it needs to be sewed together. Every seam that’s stitched will puncture minuscule holes into the fabric and membrane. If this isn’t sealed, then water can easily get through! When the water gets through, that means you’ve got a soggy day ahead… To avoid an uncomfortable outing in the wet weather, we apply a process called seam sealing. This process makes sure no water gets through those holes created by the stitching. We fully seam seal all of our products … so not just one or two seams. We mean every seam you see on that garment! This pretty much invisible method is done via a heat sealing tape that is run over the seams.The result? You’ll stay nice and dry on the inside throughout the day! Quiet Fabric Now this may be one not many think of, but don’t worry for we have! Frequently, waterproof garments have a coating applied to increase its waterproof ratings. More often than not, this results in a crunchy, noisy outcome.We’ve carefully selected a specific high-quality lamination process instead, this innovative fabric won’t be intrusively crunching and crumpling as you walk, it’s our very own ‘quiet fabric’ doing just as it says – reducing the sound so you can enjoy the elements in peace and quiet. Once we’ve selected all of the best quality fabrics and processes we apply our technical knowledge to the design features of the garment. These details make sure living your every day life in a Rainbird product is sublimely comfortable. Some Extras! Adjustable Cords & Cuffs – With carefully hidden tie adjustments, you can make sure your jacket fits you ‘just-right’. Coupled with adjustable cuffs too this ensures the cold stays out and the warm stays in!Stay-Dry Hood – Our unique hood has been crafted to protect you from the elements, some come with an added ‘peak’ to give you the extra cover needed come rain, wind or shine. We all come in different shapes & sizes so our hoods are often height adjustable and come with cinching cords too.Storm Flaps & Garages – Sometimes the wind & rain are just desperate to get in – wherever it can. We integrate storm flap protectors on zippers and pockets to protect you from the weather creeping in where it can. We also have garages at the top of the pocket zips for you to park your zippers in to shield this little gap from the weather, and prevent leakage into your pockets.

How to Choose the Best Lightweight Waterproof Jacket for Summer

Jun 08, 2023
Are you gearing up for your summer adventures, and looking for the best lightweight waterproof jacket? Whether you're planning a hiking trip, a beach getaway, or just bracing for those unpredictable summer showers, a lightweight, breathable waterproof jacket is a must-have in your wardrobe. Here’s everything you need to know to help you choose the best lightweight waterproof jacket Australia has to offer. Why you need a softshell jacket for Summer: Softshell jackets are a must-have for summer as they keep you warm in sudden gusts and unforeseen chilly blasts. Softshells are essential for kids too, as sudden cool spells can ruin your outdoor adventure if your little ones get chilled. Luckily great brands have created lightweight, breathable and portable options for you and your family to keep you warm in sudden cool changes this summer. Consider Colour: A Hi Vis Softshell Jacket is Best for Cycling If you’re heading off sailing, cycling or fishing by a busy waterway where you need to stay visible, a hi vis softshell jacket is a great choice. They’re vibrant, but light enough to let your body breath as you work hard to pedal up that next hill. If you’re after a more gentle tone, modern patterns and colours make these hugely useful jackets a fashion statement too. Great brands now offer pastels, moody patterns and classic dark hues to keep your waterproof look on trend. The Best Womens Waterproof Cycling Jacket Is UnisexThe best womens waterproof cycling jackets must be bright, but breathable and lightweight. Plus, they need to be able to be packed away easily to not add bulk while you’re on your adventures. Look for options like the Rainbird STOWaway which can be packed up into a compact ball, but doesn’t compromise on waterproofing and durability. Best of all, most womens waterproof cycling jackets like the STOWaway are unisex so they work perfectly for men and women. Consider Waterproof Ratings Depending on Where You’ll Be If you’re going to be exploring the jungle in Far North Queensland, you’ll need a much more waterproof jacket than if you’re considering a stroll in the gentle rain of Melbourne’s summer. The waterproof rating of a jacket is measured in millimeters (mm) and indicates how much water pressure it can withstand before letting moisture seep through. For summer use, a jacket with a rating of 5,000mm should suffice to keep you dry without requiring heavier fabric. Seam sealing is another way brands can make jackets fully waterproof. This almost invisible method is done via a Heat Sealing Tape that is run over the seams. Without seam sealing, the tiny holes made during the sewing process can let water in, leaving you damp. Rainbird ensures most of their jackets are made with seam sealing technology. Breathability Matters When Choosing a Lightweight Waterproof Jacket in Australia Staying dry is crucial, but you also don't want to feel like you're in a sauna. Great breathable jackets release the water vapour from inside the jacket to the outside via tiny holes in the fabric to keep you dry and comfortable. Look for a jacket with good breathability, measured in Moisture Vapour Permeability (mvp). A rating of 5000 or higher will ensure you stay comfortable even in warm, muggy conditions.Top breathable lightweight waterproof jackets in Australia for Summer:STOWaway - 7,000mvp ratingAgena 2.5 and Hadar 2.5 - 8,000mvp ratingWomen’s Polaris - 8,000mvpMen’s Deneb- 8,000mvp Weight and Packability Help Determine the Perfect Lightweight Waterproof Jacket Since it's summer, the last thing you want is a bulky, heavy jacket weighing you down. Choose a lightweight jacket that's easy to pack and won't hog up your backpack space. It should be compact enough to carry with you everywhere. Great brands make jackets with a packable pocket or insert, like the Rainbird STOWaway jacket. By using the jacket’s own pocket, you can pack the jacket away to keep it in the car or in your backpack for easy access. This way it won’t take up too much room when it’s packed away so you can always have it with you. Choose a Comfy Fit for your Lightweight Waterproof Jacket From long-line jackets to shorter waist-length jackets, the best style of your lightweight waterproof jacket will depend on your activity. Waterproof fishing jackets will work best if they’re slightly longer, while cycling jackets are usually better if they’re waist-length. Avoid the Scrunching Sound of a Lightweight Waterproof Jacket by Choosing Quiet Fabric When you think of waterproof fabric, you probably can imagine that scrunching and ‘swish swish’ sound of raincoats from your childhood. Thankfully, modern brands use technical waterproof ‘quiet’ fabrics that don’t make an intrusive sound when you walk and move. This means you can enjoy your hike through the forest in a gentle rain without hearing your jacket scrunching and disrupting the peace and quiet of the bush. Your Lightweight Waterproof Jacket Must be Durable Invest in a quality jacket that can withstand rough and tumble adventures. Check for reinforced seams, durable zippers, and high-quality materials that can handle the wear and tear of outdoor activities.Some great durable jackets, like the Rainbird Agena 2.5 and Hadar 2.5 are lightweight, breathable and waterproof making them perfect for summer hikes. Plus, they have a thin laminate inner lining making them extra durable with enhanced waterproofing. Luckily though, the soft-touch fabric is slim enough to keep you cool on hot, wet summer nights.   Choosing the best lightweight waterproof jacket is easy when you know what to look for. Decide on your ideal colour scheme, length, breathability and waterproof rating depending on your main activities, and you’re ready to go. Rainbird waterproof jackets are the perfect place to start looking. Rainbird jackets are designed with the harsh Australian climate in mind, making them perfect for summer adventures anywhere in the world. From lightweight and packable jackets to stylish and durable options, Rainbird jackets are made with exceptional waterproof, breathability and fabric ratings and designs. So, don't let a little rain or unexpected drizzle ruin your plans. Stay dry, comfortable, and stylish while you explore the world, and make sure to check out Rainbird Waterproof Jackets Australia for some top-notch options. Adventure awaits, so go out and make the most of it!

Find Your Perfect Raincoat

Jun 07, 2023
Not all raincoats are alike and not all raincoats you will like, but there is a solution….With winter upon us the need for apparel that will protect us from the elements becomes something that most of us consider at some point. Often it’s after we’ve been caught out and have ended up wet & cold. We’re often asked about what you need to know to make sure the raincoat you’re purchasing will do the job of protecting you from the elements. A little knowledge, as always, makes it a lot easier to know what to look for. Here’s our list of the 6 key things to look for to keep you dry & toasty this winter! At last, 6 easy tips to finding your perfect Raincoat!  Waterproof Fabric  Look for ratings on the jackets you are considering.  A minimum of 2,000mm (Millimetres) for light showers. The higher the number the better although the ratings game is not a level playing field (which is a whole other post) – don’t get too bogged down with this. A rating is better than none. Typically this is either a membrane or coating on the inside of the fabric which you generally don’t see. Taped Seams This is where the inside seams have what looks like sticky tape placed over the seams to prevent leakage through the sewing needle holes which is essential to keeping you dry. This is also known as Seam Sealing and can be on all seams which is known as Fully Seam Sealed, or just the seams where it is most likely to be an issue such as the shoulders or neck seams – this is known as Critical Seam Sealing. Fully Seam Sealed is always best! Breathable Fabric This is probably the least understood yet most important elements of a raincoat. If moisture vapour (your hot sweaty steam) cannot escape through the fabric it creates condensation on the inside of the jacket. This can result in finding yourself unpleasantly wet and cold on the inside of the jacket! To avoid this look for ratings above 2,000mvp (Moisture Vapour Permeability) to remain dry and comfortable. The breathability factor is typically achieved by either a membrane or a coating on the inside of the fabric which you can’t usually see. Durable Waterproof Repellent Finish This is a finish applied to the surface of the fabric which causes the rain to bead and run off the surface. This feature aids the membrane or coating on the inside of the fabric which provides the waterproof and breathable function to the fabric to perform at its best.Technical design features to keep you dry. Here are a few essentials:Adjustable hoods that are deep enough to cover your head and can be cinched in around your face if needed. Because who knows what direction the elements are going to be coming from!Storm flaps to cover zips from the sneaky wet and windy weather – either in front or behind the zip.Pockets that are well placed and are weather resistant with zips or flaps to stop your pockets filling up with rain water!Sleeves that are long enough to reach and openings that can be closed to protect water creeping in.Elasticated Draw cords at the hem or waist – this allows you to comfortably cocoon yourself in your jacket and hoard the heat! Beautiful Design Fashion with Function is possible! A technical jacket doesn’t necessarily need to look only technical.Everyday aesthetic will mean that you don’t need to keep a single use jacket with you – just in case the weather turns. A weather-proofed jacket can be worn whatever the weather.Fit & Comfort are essential – make sure that your jacket can be layered up or down with to provide the perfect protection from the elements. You’ll need to wear your jacket day in day out – so make sure it fits in the right places and is comfortable so your range of movement isn’t affected.Colour options – just as the seasons change so do our moods for different colours in our apparel. Colourful rainwear will bring a good mood to bad weather.Style – a statement piece that reflects your individual style and equally goes with all of your wardrobe.Packable – a bonus that means you have compact convenience to take your rainwear with you.Quality fabric – choosing quality will mean that you won’t be in need of buying a new jacket every winter, so spend your dollars well!Quiet fabric is another element that shouldn’t be overlooked as this adds to the wearing experience and a noisy jacket isn’t enjoyable for anyone. Is it possible to achieve all of this in one garment? Absolutely!We’ve been working hard on bridging the gap between technical outerwear and recreational apparel. You can get yourself weather-proofed without foregoing style OR function.

5 Awesome Hikes With Your STOWaway Jacket in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Jun 07, 2023
Written by guest blogger Lauren Korstrom.It is certainly no secret the beauty that Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park holds on the south island of New Zealand. Home to the tallest mountain in the country, the area is a playground of mountains full of glacial lakes and epic views.There is so much adventure and exploring to be had in the area especially hiking. Luckily, you do not have to be a mountaineer or even seasoned hiker to experience it. There are a variety of tracks to walk and hike with different levels of difficulties which means, there is something for everyone! Here are 5 awesome hikes in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Tasman Lake The Tasman Lake tracks are the easiest walks to do in the park and offer epic views over the lake and the Tasman Glacier. From the carpark there are a few different tracks you can take. My favourite is heading down to the river mouth. This path is a quick 20 minutes and leads to a lookout or a relatively easy small rock pile you can climb over to get to the water’s edge. This is a great spot to see icebergs up close.You can also head up the other path which takes about 25 minutes to get more of a view from above. This lookout really brings to light the size of the glacier, especially if there are any boats in the water. It’s incredible to see just how big the glacier is.I highly suggest walking both of the tracks as they each give a different perspective of the incredible lake. Signs to get to the car park are well marked as you come into the park and there are facilities there. Hooker Valley Track This is probably the most popular track in the park. It is not particularly hard as it’s quite flat but does take a bit longer being a 10 km return track taking between 2 and 3 hours round trip. The Hooker Valley track is the best one to walk if you want to see Mt Cook up close and personal. See if you can see his grumpy face in the snow! The beautiful Hooker lake is just below the mountain and often has big icebergs floating in it.If you head out in summertime, I suggest starting as earlier as you can to avoid the heat, the crowds and hopefully catch some lake reflections. Kea Point If you are looking to gain a little bit of elevation but not puff to hard, Kea point is a great track to hike. It starts from the Whitehorse hill campground and gradually climbs for 200 meters to a lookout over Mueller Glacial Lake and out to Mt Cook. The walks is about a 1 hour round trip and once you get to the lookout, it is not uncommon to see Kea’s here either. Sealy Tarns For anyone who wants a good leg workout, Sealy Tarns is the hike to do! With 2200 steps to tackle to the ridge, it is a good challenge but certainly worth every bit of effort. The scenery is stunning with alarge portion of the park in view. There is also a tarn on the ridge which makes for fantastic photographs especially if there is no wind. Sealy Tarns is the half way point to going up to Mueller Hut so if you’re not quite ready for a longer hike, this is a great option. Muller Hut Now this one isn’t exactly for the faint of heart but getting to that iconic red hut in the end will have you forgetting about the climb up. As mentioned the first part of the climb is up a lot of stairs and the second is a steep rocky ascent up the mountain. Be sure to give yourself lots of time to get up to the hut, it’s an 8.5km and 7-8 hour round trip and although it can be done in a day, the real magic comes when the sky changes colour at night and in the morning. You do need to book with DOC’s booking system to stay over and it does tend to fill up quickly in summertime. Getting There Aoraki/Mt Cook village is at the end of Highway 80 off the main road Hwy 8. The closest towns are Tekapo, 105km away to the north and Twizel, 65 km to the south. The road going into the village is a one road out highway and takes about 45 minutes from the highway. A Few Things to Note Before you head out for your hiking trip to Mt Cook National Park there are a few things to note especially because the village is quite small and has a limited amount of amenities. There are a few places to stay ranging from dorm and private rooms, to units and studios. You’ll want to make sure you book in advanced as it’s quite common in the peak times that there are no rooms available. There is also a campground, the Whitehorse hill campground that has 60 unpowered sites. There are facilities nearby and a large communal kitchen with bench space.The village also has a few cafes and restaurants to eat at, as well as a small convenience store for essentials. It is a good idea to pre pack some food and snacks before you head down. Depending which direction you come from there are larger grocery stores in Twizel and Tekapo. You’ll want to fill up with fuel in one of these spots as well. There is a small credit card only fuel station in the Mt Cook village but it is quite pricey.Also, take note that the weather in this area can change very quickly. If you’re camping, be sure to pack for all seasons and take enough warm bedding especially if you’re staying in the winter. If you’re hiking, be sure to take a few different layers with you in a backpack like a rain jacket, fleece and puffer. I always take a beanie with me and put my stowaway jacket in my pack to put on as I climb higher—even in the summertime. Remember this is an alpine area so take caution to what the weather is doing.Other attractions nearby include:– Lake Pukaki visitor center for amazing views down the lake– Peter’s lookout for another view of Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook– Alpine Lavender farm which is open to the public in the summertime when the flowers are in bloom.