Mount Cook New Zealand
Aoraki Mount Cook is the Big Kahuna of New Zealand. Aoraki means “cloud piercer” and it’s easy to see how the Maoris came up with that name considering that Aoraki Mount Cook reaches an elevation of 3,754 metres (12,316 ft).
Mt Cook is popular amongst avid mountain climbers, and Edmund Hillary the NZ god of mountaineering made an early ascent of Aoraki as a warm-up to climbing Everest.
Mount Cook is also a popular tourist destination considering the majestic beauty of the mountains and glaciers, and the various alpine activities on offer.
Where is Mt Cook?
Mount Cook lies within the Southern Alps on the South Island of New Zealand. The mountain is situated within the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.
Mt Cook Village is a small settlement that acts as base camp for the mountain. The alpine village at an elevation of 760 metres is located 12km south of the summit of Mount Cook, and 7km from the end of the Tasman Glacier.
Mount Cook Village is a 55km drive from the Lake Pukaki turn-off between Queenstown and Christchurch. The village is approximately 3 hours drive north of Queenstown
, and 3.5 hours south of Christchurch. From the Lake Tekapo
township, the Mount Cook village is a 105km drive that takes just over an hour.
Mt Cook Skiing and Snowboarding
Considering that Mt Cook is permanently snow-covered, it’s not surprising that the area is a bit of a skiing mecca during winter. Mount Cook heli skiing companies include Harris Mountains
and Mt Cook Heliski
(previously known as Wilderness Heliski and guided by Alpine Guides). Both operations offer Mt Cook skiing at its best.
Alpine Guides also offer the famous “Ski the Tasman
” tour which is plane accessed skiing on the majestic Tasman Glacier. The ski runs are leg-burningly long, but the skiing experience pales into insignificance in comparison to the spectacular scenery.
||Mt Cook Heli Ski
Heli ski the Mt Cook region amongst New Zealand's largest mountains in the heart of the great Southern Alps. Transfer packages also available from Queenstown.
||Ski The Tasman
This is an adventure for intermediate and above skiers & boarders. You will ski through ice caves, seracs (ice towers) and will experience the most amazing scenery you have seen anywhere..
Mount Cook Accommodation
There is a small range of Mt Cook accommodation
in the village including the upscale Hermitage Hotel
, the YHA Mount Cook hostel
, Aoraki Court Motel
, and the Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Lodge
Mt Cook Accommodation Listings
The other option is to stay in one of the Lake Tekapo hotels
, about an hour away from Mt Cook.
Mt Cook Activities
The Mount Cook area offers some unique activities. Apart from Mt Cook heli skiing, ski touring and mountain climbing, other ways to explore the mountains is with a scenic flight in either a helicopter or plane. Some tours even include a glacier snow landing. Glacier exploration is also possible from a boat or a kayak on the glacial lakes.
Other Mount Cook activities
include star-gazing or a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre that showcases the region and its history.
Why Visit Aoraki Mount Cook?
The views of Aoraki Mount Cook are spectacular and the area offers unique skiing, tramping and other activities. A few days at Mount Cook will make you very snap happy and undoubtedly you’ll use up the entire memory card in your digital camera.
Tours That Might Include Mt Cook