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Mount Cook Tour

A Mount Cook tour takes visitors into the heart of the Southern Alps, where you will find New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers.

Aoraki Mount Cook is New Zealand’s tallest Mountain, standing at 3754 metres above sea level. It is located in the Southern Alps amongst over 140 peaks higher than 2000 metres, 19 of which are over 3000 metres, making up Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

At the foot of the mountain sits the village of Mount Cook – a comfortable haven in one of the most unforgiving parts of New Zealand. On every side, the Southern Alps scrape the sky. Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is an exceptionally beautiful place to visit. You don’t have to be a mountaineer to interact with the stunning scenery; there are various alpine walks beginning near the village. Flightseeing, tours to the Tasman Glacier and stargazing are other ways to optimise your time here during your tour.

Top 5 things to include on your tour

#1 View Aoraki Mount Cook

lake tekapo activities
Mount Cook

There’s no doubt about it, viewing Mount Cook is truely spectacular! When holidaying around New Zealand people always like to include this on their to do list! Viewing Mount Cook can be a little finicky as cloud cover can put a halt to your Mount Cook viewing dreams. However don’t let this deter you as the weather changes so quickly in the area that often low cloud disappears in an instant and the true beauty is revealed. A must during your Mount Cook Tour.

#2 Helicopter flight to view Mount Cook and the Southern Alps

mount cook helicopter tour
Mount Cook Helicopter Tour

If you want a close up encounter with mighty Aoraki Mount Cook, a helicopter scenic flight is your best bet. Helicopter companies operate from Mt Cook Airport and offer a range of flights. The deeper your pocket the better the flight! Most flights offer snow landings, where your helicopter lands atop a high peak and lets you exit the helicopter to take some epic photos and throw the odd snowball!

#3 Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

alpine movie theater
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

A tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the world’s greatest explorers, the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region. The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre’s 126-seat custom-designed theatre is the world’s only theatre with 2D, 3D and a Digital Dome Planetarium, contained within the same space. In the foyer of the theatre you’ll find a museum showcasing the history of the Mount Cook region. A great thing to do if you hit bad weather during your tour.

#4 Stargazing Mount Cook

stargazing new zealand
Stargazing Mount Cook

In June 2012 the Aoraki Mackenzie region, encompassing Mount Cook Village, was approved as one of only a few International Dark Sky Reserves (IDSR) worldwide, meaning the darkness of the night skies is almost unbeatable! Begin with an introduction and orientation in the Digital Dome Planetarium then your night sky guides take you on a short drive to the specail outdoor stargazing site. Use telescopes, astronomy binoculars and the naked eye to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice, identifying different elements of the spectacular southern sky.

#5 Must do Walks – our Top 5 for your tour

Mount Cook is home to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular hikes. These are some of our top picks.

1. Hooker Valley Walk

Hooker Valley Walk
Hooker Valley Walk

10 km / 3 hours return / easy walking track

Highlights:

  • Views of Mueller Glacier, Hooker Lake and Mount Cook.
  • Mount Cook buttercup, the world’s biggest buttercup.

 

 2. Governor’s Bush Walk

1.5 km / 45 minutes return / easy walking track

Highlights:

  • Walk through beech forest where fantail and kea are common.

3. Mueller Hut Hike

Mueller Hut Walk Mount Cook
Mueller Hut Walk

10.4 km / 8 hours return / advanced  track

Highlights:

  • At 1800 metres on the Seal Range, Mueller Hut provides a 360-degree panorama encompassing glaciers, ice cliffs, vertical rock faces and New Zealand’s highest peaks.

 4. Tasman Valley Walk

2.6 km / 1 hour return / easy walking track

Highlights:

  • Viewing the 27 km Tasman glacier – the longest in New Zealand.
  • Spotting the rifleman, New Zealand’s smallest bird.

5. Kea Point Walk

Kea Point Track Mount Cook
Kea Point Track

2.8 km / 1 hour return / easy walking track

Highlights:

  • View Mueller Glacier, with stunning views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Main Divide.

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