Mount Cook Travel Guide

  • Mt Cook still a long way away
    Mt Cook still a long way away
    by DSwede
  • Mount Cook from the bottom of the lake.
    Mount Cook from the bottom of the lake.
    by kiwi
  • View from Sealy Tarns
    View from Sealy Tarns
    by DSwede

Mount Cook Highlights

  • Pro
    victorwkf profile photo

    victorwkf says…

     Beautiful snow capped mountains and scenery 

  • Con
    victorwkf profile photo

    victorwkf says…

     Expensive, especially the helicopter rides 

  • In a nutshell
    victorwkf profile photo

    victorwkf says…

     This place is a must visit when you are at the South Island 

Mount Cook Things to Do

  • Hillary Centre

    Sir Edmund Hillary is famous for his ascent of Mt Everest being, with the assistance of his Sherpa, Tensing Norgay, the first person to set foot on the summit. Hillary learned his love of snow and ice and climbing in New Zealand and started his career as a climber on the slopes of Mt Cook. He has also crossed Antarctica via the South Pole.In his...

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  • Aoraki Visitor Centre

    The visitor centre at Mt Cook/Aoraki is quite amazing. It is full of imformation about the area including Maori history, wildlife, climbing history and the mountains. There are examples of Maori art and some beautiful stained glass windows featuring flora and fauna of the area.

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  • Drive to Mt Cook

    Mount Cook or in the Maori, Aoraki is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It is 3,754 metres high and is in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. It is a popular tourist destination all year round and on the list of challenges to mountain climbers. The Tasman Gacier (to the east) and the Hooker Glacier...

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  • Forum Answer - Glacier Explorer Tasman...

    We did the Glacier Explorers boat ride on the Tasman Lake in Jan 2009. We booked over the internet (google Glacier Explorers I think). It was pretty expensive but definitely worth it. They pick you up at the main hotel at Mt Cook Village (you also have several accomodation options there) and take you in a bus for about 15mins then you have to walk...

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  • Go For A Walk

    We are not big walkers but on arriving at Mt Cook we were compelled to do a short walk. The weather was warm & sunny. Perfect for a walk. There are many walks to do around Mt Cook and the Tasman Valley seemed a good spot for us. It's about a 20 minute drive from Mt Cook Village and has some suitable walks for the likes of ourselves.As it was a...

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  • The Kiwis are so lucky!

    The journey continued... passing along the shore of Lake Pukaki again to our last destination... Queenstown, which also provide a beautiful scenery. Well... the Kiwis are so lucky to have this beautiful country.

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  • Mount Cook I will be back!

    I was so regret didn't stay several nights in this area. To be honest, I didn't expect this beauty while I planned the trip. I thought it might be looked like Mt. Fuji in Japan which is so famous but offers nothing but disappointment. Perhaps I should plan for another trip to New Zealand soon.

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  • There are snow capped mountains...

    Even during summer, one-third of Mt. Cook National Park's area is permanently snow-covered. With the highest mountain in New Zealand (Aoraki/Mt. Cook) and the longest glacier in Australasia, plus 25 peaks over 3,000m and a few hundred over 2,000m, Mt. Cook National Park offers a very stunning view.

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  • Expensive heli flights for bird-eye view

    For a few hundred dollars, we can join the heli or plane flights for a bird-eye view of the Mt. Cook and the area.The Mt. Cook National Park is sleepy while the crowds left, but there are many kind of activities to do in the area that worth the stay, such as several day-walks, Glacier Explorers boat tour to or kayaking on Tasman Glacier or 4WD...

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  • Mountain Lakes

    There are several mountain lakes within the mountain valleys of Mount Cook National Park formed by collection of melting ice, such as the one shown in this photograph.

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  • Mount Cook & Mount Tasman

    Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand at about 3700 metres, followed by Mount Tasman. These 2 magnificent mountains can be seen clearly on a good clear day during the journey to the Mount Cook National Park, but the best views are definitely from the helicopter ride.

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  • Glaciers

    There are several glaciers in Mount Cook National Park where you can do some exciting glacier walks, the most famous being the Fox Glacier and Franz Joseph Glacier. These glaciers look awesome from the air as well.

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  • Rivers

    There are lots of rivers in Mount Cook National Park with water from the melting ice flowing into Lake Pukaki. In fact, it is a huge river delta system and the best view is from the helicopter ride as shown in this photograph.

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  • Collie Dog Statue

    A little further along the front of the lake is the famous statue of the working collie dog whose help was invaluable to early settlers and indeed modern shepherds and farmers in the region.

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  • Church of the Good Shepherd

    Overlooking the lake is the Church of the Good Shepherd which was built with locally gathered stone. From the altar window there is a beautiful view over the lake to the magnificent center of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Great place to get marry :)

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Mount Cook Hotels

Mount Cook Restaurants

  • Great Organic food

    A great atmosphere with lots of natural timer and climbing artefacts. Open fires add to the snug feeling.Much of he food offered is organic or naturally processed.The view of Mt Cook from the huge picture window is spectacular. I had a Mountaineer Burger which was your basic hamburger with the lot but the bacon was naturally cured without...

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  • Best meal for the money in Mount Cook

    Unless you are packing your own food, there are only three dining options in Mount Cook. The two restaurants in the Hermitage Hotel are fine dining, but also take a hit on the wallet. The cafeteria or the "Sir Edmund Hillary Cafe" has adequate food, but again it is also very over priced for what you get.If you go down the hill slightly from the...

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  • Dinner with A View

    We had a buffet dinner that included seafood, roast, vegies and more. The best part was the view. We were lucky enough to get a window table looking out to Mt Cook.

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Mount Cook Transportation

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Helicopter ride at Mount Cook, New Zealand

    by victorwkf Written Mar 8, 2005

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    One of the thing you must do on a clear day and you have money to spend is to take a helicopter ride to experience breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys, glaciers, rivers, lakes etc. The helicopter can also land on a glacier if the weather permits so that you will have a chance to experience standing on a glacier. A helicopter trip of about 45 minutes will cost about US$100 at least.

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Mount Cook Local Customs

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    by rozehill Written May 15, 2003

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    The Maori legend of Mount Cook is the story of Aoraki and his three brothers. They were the sons of Rakinui (the Sky Father) and were on a voyage around Papatuanuku (the Earth Mother) when disaster struck and they became stranded upon a reef. The voyagers climbed on to the top side of the canoe and after a time the south wind froze them and turned them into stone. Their canoe became the South Island (Te Waka o Aoraki is the oldest name for the South Isand) and Aoraki who stood tallest of the brothers is now seen as the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook with the Southern Alps as his brothers and other members of this crew.

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Mount Cook Warnings and Dangers

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    by balhannah Written Jan 21, 2010

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    Around the Mountains the weather changes very fast. We left on a fine, sunny day to visit Mt. Cook, by the time we reached Lake Pukaki, the wind was high, and rain squalls were crossing the lake. We couldn't even see Mt. Cook for cloud and rain, and it was too dangerous to drive up there in a Campervan in the bad weather, so I never got to visit.
    We stopped at the tourist information centre by the lake, and the lady told us a camper van had been blown over by the strong winds on Mt. Cook!

    The warning is, don't go in bad weather and use your common sense!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Mount Cook Off The Beaten Path

  • LAKE OHAU

    As we didn't get to see Mount Cook because of bad weather, we drove on towards Twizel on SH 8. About half way along from Omarama, is the turnoff to Lake Ohau. I had read that this area was beautiful.The weather still was not kind to us, but we could make out the beauty of the area, and have vowed to return on a better day.

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  • Airfield near to entrance of Mount Cook...

    There is an airfield near to the entrance of Mount Cook National Park (I think it is called Glentanner Fields) which is the base of the various helicopter rides to the national park. Besides taking the helicopter rides, there is a nice and cosy cafeteria where you can have your meals and enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Cook and surroundings on a...

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  • On the way to Mount Cook National Park

    You will pass by some beautiful countryside on the way to Mount Cook National Park, including the town of Twizel where part of the Lord of the Rings movie was filmed at the nearby flat plains (the scene of the epic Battle of Pelenior Fields in "Return of the King"). Do stop by and explore these wonderful places if you have the time.

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Mount Cook Sports & Outdoors

  • Hooker Trail

    One of the more popular "long" hikes is up to Hooker Lake at the base of Hooker Glacier. From the Hermitage it may take 1.5~2 hour minutes depending on your fitness, each way. The trail is well groomed and easy to walk, but there are still many rocks and is not entirely flat. Once you get to Hooker Lake, there will be large rocks you will have to...

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  • Kea Point

    One of the more popular "short" hikes is up to Kea Point. From the Hermitage it may take 30~50 minutes depending on your fitness, each way. From the camping area is may take 20~35 minutes. The trail is well groomed and easy to walk, but there are still many rocks and is not entirely flat.In the entire path, you may only climb about 100m vertically,...

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  • Muller Hut

    One of the most physical of the trails in the park is the 6~7 hour round trip up to Mueller Hut. This trail follows the Sealy Tarns trail and continues where those taking their picnic lunches at the Tarns stop. From that junction, it is still another very physical 1.5+ hours up.There are some sections with loose rocks and the trail is marked with...

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Mount Cook Favorites

  • Bright blue water of Lake Pukaki

    The bright blue water of Lake Pukaki is simply amazing to watch. Apparently, the colour is due to the reflection of sunlight when it hits the particles within the water which flows down from the snow-capped mountains.

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  • Super views of Mount Cook and other...

    During the helicopter ride which I took, we landed on a cliif area of a mountain across the valley of Mount Cook. This cliff offers super views of Mount Cook and other mountains of the Mount Cook National Park as well as offer us some fun playing with the snow.

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  • The Southern Alps

    Mount Cook National Park is part of a mountain range in the south island of New Zealand known as the Southern Alps which run across the length of the island. Mount Cook is the highest mountain and it is named after the famous explorer Captain James Cook.

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Explore Deeper into Mount Cook
Sealy Tarns
Sports & Outdoors
Food with million dollar view
Restaurants
Lake Blue
Off The Beaten Path
Awarded 'World Heritage'
Things to Do
Sheeps, sheeps, everywhere .....
Favorites
Binoculars
Things to Do
Sir Edmund Hilary Statue
Things to Do
Lake Pukaki
Things to Do
Viewing Mount Cook from the road
Things to Do
The road into Mount Cook/Aoraki
Off The Beaten Path
The general area
Favorites
Flights, hikes, horserides or skiing!!
Sports & Outdoors
In the region
Favorites
Top of the Alps
Things to Do
Of course see Mount Cook or Aoraki
Things to Do
Map of Mount Cook

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