Off the Beaten Track to... Aoraki/Mt Cook
The track to New Zealand's highest mountain is a well-beaten one, but for many visitors to New Zealand the views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps, whether seen from land or air, are some of the most memorable on their trip. Aoraki means 'Cloud Piercer' in the Māori language and on a clear day, you can get a wonderful view of this majestic peak. Aoraki/Mt Cook towers 3,724 metres high over the Mackenzie area and provides a beautiful and dramatic backdrop to the extraordinary Lake Tekapo.
Charge up your camera battery, you won't want to miss these views and for those keen to get off the beaten track, there are many walks (as well as hikes) which explore the region. Many visitors visit the area during short stop-overs, so staying for a few days to experience the area in its full glory is highly recommended. Accomodation choices are plentiful, from camping to luxurious hotel life and with a plethora of activities to enjoy, don't be surprised if you end up staying longer.
Highlights of Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
- Climbing, Hiking and Walking - Follow in the great man's footsteps as these mountains were his training ground. Hire a guide and give mountain climbing a go, or simply enjoy the alpine wilderness and seek out the largest buttercup in the world, the Aoraki/Mt Cook lily.
- Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - Find out more about the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people via a spectacular state-of-the-art 3D movie, New Zealand's first full dome digital planetarium and museum which documents the pioneering heart of the region and features the impressive Hillary Gallery.
- Lake Tekapo - This remarkable turquoise-coloured lake is framed by the majesty of the Southern Alps and offers a wide variety of activities including tramping/hiking, mountain biking, climbing, horse trekking, fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, scenic flights, star gazing, skiing, heli-skiing, ski touring, cross-country skiing, ice skating, hot spas, snow tubing, water-skiing and windsurfing.
- For more information, please view our dedicated Aoraki/Mt Cook information pages.
To help plan your holiday activities in the Mackenzie Country, simply choose from the main categories below: