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Mount Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain and you wouldn’t want to miss trekking across this magnificent beauty! This region offers a picturesque view showcasing gigantic rocks, glaciers, and pristine lakes. You can also find many icebergs in this region. You could get an incredible view by taking a helicopter flight across the Tasman Valley, hiking up mountains, or trekking up the hills. The vast expanse of this alpine region makes for a great getaway.
Most people love making a visit to Aoraki or Mount Cook National Park. Here you will be delighted to find a splendid blend of snowy glaciers and rugged hilltops. The mountains and hills of the Hooker Valley and Tasman Valley welcome hikers and trekkers of all levels. You could just be a beginner or an experienced mountaineer. This region is also blooming with various kinds of flora and fauna. You can discover various aspects of nature around Mount Cook. Aoraki Mount Cook can be reached via the scenic roads of State Highway 80. Mount Cook National Park has some of the tallest mountains and largest glaciers extending to great lengths. It is truly alpine in its own sense complete with staggering peaks, glaciers, and snow-capped regions all set under a sky so dark, you might even see some of the brightest stars!
Location: New Zealand
Nearest airport: Christchurch
How to reach: from Christchurch by road
Famous for: the tallest mountain in New Zealand, Tasman Glacier, treks/hikes
Months open: All year
Best time to Visit: mid-November to March
The lupin fields,
Swimming with the icebergs
Drive around the mountain
A boat tour of the magnificent Tasman Glacier
Ski-plane or Helicopter tour
Rumour has it that Rakinui, the father of the Sky, had three sons - Ngāi Tahu, a legend, Aoraki, and three more sons. They were traveling in a small canoe, in the sea. Suddenly, the canoe capsized on a reef. The brothers struggled to stay atop the canoe. As soon as they came up, the cold South winds froze them to stone. Consequently, it is believed that the canoe is known as the South Island (Te Waka oAoraki), and Aorakiand his brothers are the peaks of the Southern Alps.
SinceMount Cook is one of the tallest mountains, Sir Edmund Hillary honed his climbing skills on this mountain, before he went on to climb the tallest mountains in the world, Mount Everest. The receding levels of the glaciers have given rise to the development of proglacial lakes in the region. Pristine blue lakes around mount Cook attract a lot of visitors, as they pool in around nearby land regions. You can hop on a boat tour in any of these lakes. Therefore, this leisure activity has been drawing many tourists to this region. It might be a tad bit dangerous for hikers and skiers to adventure around these areas.
The lupin fields– Sprawling across the country of Mackenzie, you will find lush purple fields of Russell lupins. These usually bloom during the months of November to February. Legend has it that these were planted to replenish grasslands. Now you can find them along lakeshores, especially Lake Tekapo. So, make sure you don’t miss them!
Swimming with the icebergs – Mueller Lake and Glacier and Hooker Lake and Glacier have waters abundant with floating icebergs. The best time to swim around them is during the summer. You can also get a great view of Aoraki or Mount Cook while you are at it!
Hiking – The best part about hiking around Mount Cook is that you can climb up the slopes, no matter how fit you are. If you are just a beginner, then you could try strolling around the village near Mount Cook. Short hikes can even get you close to the Tasman Glacier. For seasoned mountaineers, there is the Bass Pass Crossing alpine trek from where you can see the majestic Aoraki or Mount Cook, Mount Sefton, the Copland Pass, and the Hooker and Tasman Glaciers. If this is too much for you, you could do a day trip or hike around the mountain range.
Mountain/rock climbing – It takes a little skill to scale up to one of the tallest mountains in New Zealand. And there are many locals who can help you get there. The weather around Mount Cook can get windy and chilly at times. It is essential to have prior experience in mountaineering, in order to climb up this mountain.
Drive around the mountain – The countryside has some pretty routes around Mount Cook. Most routes begin with State Highway 80 and move on to the Mount Cook National Park and Village. The village is centered around Lake Tekapo and surrounded by mountains. The nearest town is Twizel, which is a short drive away.
A boat tour of the magnificent Tasman Glacier – The Tasman Glacier extends across 27 kilometers (16.8 miles) and is New Zealand’s longest glacier. It has a lake that is formed by chunks of the glacier breaking away and pooling in that region. A boat ride in this area provides a picture-perfect experience.
Ski-plane or Helicopter tour– Fly overMount CookNational Park in a plane or a helicopter and surprise yourself with a breath-taking experience! You can enjoy a view over the vast expanse of the mountains, see glaciers from atop and enjoy the sight of cool blue waters of the lakes!
Where to stay
The Hermitage Hotel
A glorious hotel located near 89 Terrace road, The Hermitage Hotel is where you can find the best accommodation around town. They have an extensive range of bars and restaurants, for you to choose from. The staff here is extremely helpful and can even help you plan your trekking or stargazing activities. You can enjoy a pleasant stay here!