Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Its height, as of 2014, is listed as 3,724 metres. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island.
20 pictures of Mount Cook from Jordan Heath, Aleksandar Jason, Casey Horner and other travelers
To get to Mount Cook, fly into Christchurch or Queenstown, the closest international airports. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to the Mount Cook Village, which is approximately a 3 to 4-hour drive. The drive itself is an attraction, as you'll pass through picturesque landscapes and enjoy stunning views of the Southern Alps.
It's essential to book some activities in advance, especially during the peak season from November to April. Popular options include guided hiking tours, scenic flights, and glacier explorations. If you're planning to do the famous Hooker Valley Track, no booking is required, but it's advised to start early in the day to avoid crowds.
Costs vary depending on the activities you choose. Scenic flights range from NZD$200-500, while guided hiking tours start around NZD$100. Accommodation prices vary as well, but expect to pay around NZD$30 for a dorm bed or NZD$100-200 for a private room in a lodge or motel.
The best things to do in Mount Cook include hiking the Hooker Valley Track, which offers unbeatable views of Aoraki and the surrounding glaciers. For a more challenging option, the Sealy Tarns Track provides panoramic vistas of the entire region. Stargazing is another must-do, as Mount Cook is part of an International Dark Sky Reserve, offering some of the clearest night skies in the world.
For dining options, try The Old Mountaineers' Café, Bar & Restaurant, which offers delicious meals with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, or the Chamois Bar & Grill for a casual atmosphere and hearty pub fare. For a special treat, reserve a spot at the Panorama Room at The Hermitage Hotel, where you can enjoy fine dining with unbeatable views of Mount Cook.
Accommodation options include the iconic Hermitage Hotel, which offers luxury rooms, fine dining, and access to various activities. For budget travelers, the Mount Cook Lodge & Motels and the YHA Mount Cook offer affordable options and a friendly atmosphere.
Off the beaten path: For an unforgettable and unique experience, consider booking a heli-hiking tour on the Tasman Glacier. This excursion combines a scenic helicopter flight with a guided walk on the glacier, allowing you to explore ice caves, crevasses, and other glacial features up close. This thrilling adventure provides a once-in-a-lifetime perspective on the majestic beauty of Mount Cook National Park.
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Discover more travel spots to explore around Mount Cook❄️ Glacial landform spots ⛰️ Summit spots ⛰️ Highland spots 🛣️ Road trip spots ⛰️ Hill station spots ❄️ Glacial lake spots ⛰️ Hill spots ⛰️ Mountain range spots ⛰️ Mountaineering spots ❄️ Tundra spots 🐾 Wildlife spots
Mount Cook (Aoraki) is located in the central west of the South Island of New Zealand, in the Canterbury area.
It is only about 30 km from the Tasman Sea. However, to get to the western side of the Southern Alps range, it is necessary to travel more than 450 km or about 6 hours by car.
Mount Cook National Park includes almost all of New Zealand's mountains above 3,000 meters except for Mount Aspiring. The highest is Mount Cook itself with an altitude of 3,724 meters. This also makes it the highest mountain in New Zealand. Mount Cook gives birth to the Hooker Glacier on its western side and feeds the Tasman Glacier, the longest in New Zealand, on its eastern side.
Here is our list of the 7 best hikes in Mount Cook
1 - Hooker Valley Hike
2 - Kea Point Hike
3 - Sealy Tarns Hike
4 - Mueller hut hike
5 - Tasman Lake Hike
6 - Blue Lakes & Tasman Glacier Hike
7 - Ball Hut Hike
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