Home to the tallest peak in New Zealand, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a notable destination due to its abundance of glaciers and the fact that it is home to 19 out of the 20 highest peaks in the country. This means that the picturesque beaches of the North Island have been traded in for the harsh majesty of elevations up to 3,753 meters (12,312 feet) high. If you're looking for invigorating adventure, then you've found your place.
Bordering Westland National Park on New Zealand's South Island, those of who you crave alpine activities like skiing and mountain climbing will rejoice in the available options. You'll invariably start from the village of Aoraki Mount Cook, which is about an hour north from the nearest town of Twizel. Stay a night here and see more stars in the sky than you imagined possible and then set out for outstanding natural features like the Tasman, Hooker, and Mueller glaciers. Many of the climbing you'll do will need some level of expertise and basic equipment, but there are still plenty of shorter hikes for those just looking to enjoy the incredible scenery. Set out from the Blue Lakes car park for a swim or a view of the ice floes (depending on the season), while the more taxing task of trekking to the Mueller Hut is still worthwhile for those unacquainted with an ice pick.Skiers will want to attempt the Tasman Glacier, which is actually a quite manageable slope that even novice snowbirds will enjoy. Learn more here. You'll also have quality skiing options to the south and west of the park in the towns of Twizel, Fairlie, and Lake Tetapo.
For more on what to do, where to stay, and how to prepare for a great time in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, browse our included links.
Location:Aoraki Mount Cook