Mt Cook Free Visitor Attractions
Mt Cook (Aoraki /Mount Cook) is New Zealand's highest mountain at 3,754 metres high and is located in the MacKenzie Country within the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Nestled at the base of Mt Cook is Mt Cook Village, which has a small range of accommodation (hotel rooms, lodges, chalets and camp grounds), eateries and the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (planetarium and information centre). Mt Cook Village is 332km from Christchurch (almost a five hour drive away).
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park was established in 1953 and contains over 140 peaks over 2,000 metres and 72 named glaciers. The English name of Mount Cook honoured Captain James Cook in 1851, whilst the Maori name 'Aoraki' or Aorangi is believed to mean 'cloud piercer'. Mount Cook’s name was officially changed to Aoraki/Mount Cook in 1998. more
Aoraki/Mount Cook is a popular tourist destination as well as a popular mountaineering, climbing and hiking challenge. Other popular activities in Mt Cook include heli skiing, heli hiking and aerial flightseeing and walks for non-climbers, taking only a couple of hours, start in or near Mount Cook Village. Visitors should pack for mountainous weather (lots of layered, warm clothing) and changeable conditions.
There are several walks around the village that provide views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding native alpine bush and area. The climate in the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park and surrounding areas can be very changeable, and it is always wise to prepare yourself for bad weather, no matter what the weather forecast predicts.
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