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Mount Cook, called Aoraki by the local Maori and Ngai Tahu, is the highest peak in New Zealand and also stands among several various other significant heights in the Southern ranges. Such is the elegance of the location that it has been assigned as a National Park called the Mount Cook National Park and also boundaries with the Westland National Park on the west side of the hill. Mt Cook is the highest possible top in Oceania and is surrounded by numerous glaciers and various other incredible ice formations. Sir Edmund Hillary practiced climbing on Mount Cook before embarking on his ice climbing mission with the British exploration team for Mt Everest in 1953 and together with the Sherpas became the very first climbers reach the top of Mt Everest. The only village within the Mt Cook National forest is Mt Cook town. The relaxing town lies in the Tasman Valley below the Tasman Glacier. To curb the human effect on the environment, holiday accommodations are restricted in Mt Cook town and reservations are mandatory.
Location - Southern Alps, South Island, New Zealand
Area - 700 sq. kms. (including the national park)
Nearest Airport - Christchurch International airport
How to reach - About 3 to 4 hours drive from Christchurch or Queenstown through different routes
Famous for - glaciers, southern alps, beatuiful flora and fauna, winter sports
Months Open -
Best Time to visit -
Lake Tekapo, glacial walk, skiing, winter sports, star gazing at Aoraki Mackenzie dark sky reserve
Air Safaris at Lake Tekapo supply 'Grand Traverse' scenic flights over a few of New Zealand's the majority of spectacular views. The 50-minute trips overlook Mt Cook (Aoraki) and its national park and Westland National Parks, 12 major glaciers, the highest possible point in Oceania and also the tropical rainforests of the South Island's West Coastline. Within a 50 min trip, you will fly over semi-desert, towering wild, tropical rainforest as well as rugged ice, capped hills with valleys of glaciers. You will get an opportunity to see Aoraki Mount Cook and Westland National Parks in all their incredible glory like never before.
The Helicopter Line
At Mount Cook, the Helicopter Line operates from Glentanner Park at the foot of the hills near Mount Cook town. They give the most extraordinary close-up views on a breathtaking trip to explore the heart of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Experienced and knowledgeable helicopter pilots share their expertise with you in an insightful commentary. You can view glaciers - rivers of moving ice, before a snow landing in this difficult- to-reach mountainous region. The Helicopter Line likewise runs heliskiing and also heliboarding throughout locations of the Southern Alps and also provides activities at the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Forest.
Mount Cook National Park
The Aoraki (Mount Cook) National forest was established in 1953 and it includes over 140 peaks over 2,000 meters as well as 72 glaciers. The English name of Mount Cook was given in 1851 to honor Captain James Cook who first circumnavigated New Zealand during his explorations in 1770. The Maori name 'Aoraki' or ‘Aorangi’ is believed to imply 'cloud piercer'. Mount Cook's name was officially changed to Aoraki/Mount Cook in 1998.
Glacier sighting and winter sports
Helicopters, as well as ski-planes, provide accessibility to the park's remarkable glaciers. The Tasman Glacier is an outstanding option for intermediate skiers, while the Murchison, Darwin and also Bonney glaciers promise enjoyment for innovative skiers. Landing among stunning ice formations caves is the start of an unforgettable experience. From October till May, you can explore the Tasman Glacier's beautiful lake by boat rides.
Lake Tekapo, or Tekapo, is a town situated in the Mackenzie Basin region of New Zealand's South Island. Over three hours drive, either east or west on SH8 leads to Christchurch (227km) and Queenstown (256km) respectively. The town is a prominent tourist location, and a necessary relaxation break for visitors on New Zealand tours. Its attractions consist of the Church of the Great Shepherd (established in 1935 as a memorial to the pioneers of the region), the bronze sheepdog (as a tribute to pet dogs), Mt John College Observatory and also naturally the lake itself. In all seasons, sunlight helps to create the outstanding turquoise blue color of Lake Tekapo.
In 2012, the Observatory in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve was proclaimed as one of ‘the very best stargazing sites in the world’. You can spend the day sightseeing, go for an evening stroll and enjoy the brilliant night sky later. Various other destinations include Tekapo Springs (spa and even winter months sporting activities), steed expeditions, golf, fishing, hunting, lake cruise ships as well as scenic trips. Accomodation options include outdoor camping grounds, backpackers, vacation houses, motel as well as hotel lodging.
The closest major international airport to Mount Cook is Christchurch, the biggest city in the South Island. The path right into Mount Cook is around 60km from the primary road of the central South Island. There is a little flight terminal situated at Mount Cook, and several charter trips and also airlines provide flights to and from the mount.