In the middle of the Southern Alps in the South Island lies the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook. Within easy driving distance of Christchurch this alpine playground is popular for all kinds of activities from 4WD tours and horse treks through to boat cruises and scenic flights. The ever changing scenery makes the area ideal for a variety of walks and hikes of to suit all ages and abilities from short scenic walks to half day hikes.
Overnight and extended tramps are made possible by a number of alpine cabins dotted along the way providing accommodation and a chance to recharge the batteries. Mount Cook has an abundance of wild flowers including the largest buttercup in the world, the Mount Cook Lily, providing attractive landscapes among hardy alpine shrubs. Mount Cook attractions and activities include skiing during the winter and spring months, fishing and tours to the Tasman glacier. Bus trips are available from Mount Cook to Christchurch passing through the small village of Lake Tekapo, picturesque Lake Pukaki and the lush farmlands of Geraldine.
Helicopter flights from Mount Cook take in the stunning beauty of the Southern Alps, glacial lakes and unique opportunity to experience a snow landing. Skiing is the number one activity on Mount Cook with conditions suiting all skiers from beginners through to advanced. For the more adventurous, Heli skiing and the chance to ski New Zealand’s longest glacier are among the highlights. Nearby Lake Tekapo offers spectacular natural hot pools, ice skating and star gazing along with the well known attraction of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Mount Cook accommodation is available in a wide range of styles to suit all budgets, although there is only one hotel to stay in that is on the mountain itself.
The Aoraki Mount Cook Mackenzie region offers all kinds of accommodation from backpackers and holiday parks through to self contained cottages, bed and breakfasts and luxury retreats. Whatever style you choose, the natural beauty of the Mount Cook area is best appreciated at a slow pace, so make sure to take your time. A variety of Mount Cook tours makes accessibility to all major attractions and activities a breeze with experienced guides and friendly South Island hospitality. The Kea, New Zealand’s alpine parrot roams the Mount Cook National Park providing plenty of humour with its playful antics and the variety of unique bird and insect life makes for some intriguing wildlife viewing.