Mount Cook & Tekapo Experiences

Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, its snow-capped peak severing the sky at 3700m above sea level and stealing the breath of anyone who stands before it. Stretched in the mountain’s shadow, Lake Tekapo is equally alluring. A natural phenomenon known as ‘rock flour’ gives its water an ethereally perfect blue hue, thanks to particles of rock being suspended within.

This unique, almost unbelievable scenery makes Mount Cook a must-see, while the Earth and Sky Observatory ensures there is as much natural interest and scenery to offer by night as there is by day.

Best Things to Do In Mount Cook and Tekapo

Located in the Hermitage hotel complex, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is the perfect place to start for any would-be conquers of mountains. The centre is full of facts, figures and fascinating tidbits about the man himself as well as the mountains he climbed. There is also a custom-made theatre that shows 2D, 3D and Digital Planetarium presentations, making it a great choice for days when the weather is too wild to endure. Particularly stop by if they’re showing the Mt Cook panorama, which will whet your appetite of what awaits you outside when the weather clears.

Tours of Mount Cook and Tekapo

If you’re looking for things to do in Mount Cook and Tekapo, that won’t require studded boots and the constitution of an exploration legend, consider a helicopter flight across the region, and let an engine take the strain. Obviously, this option is better suited to those happy (and able) to splurge on their holiday excursions but this memorable experience is well worth the increased cost.

Taking up to three passengers, this flight comes with a pilot who knows the mountain and its stories as well as he knows his cockpit. You’ll have a headset to hear his detailed, descriptive commentary, giving even greater depth to the truly awe-inspiring country stretching below you. You’ll even get a chance to stride across a glacier and declare it your own, without any fear of frozen toes.

Experiences in Mount Cook and Tekapo

If you are willing to put the hard graft in yourself, head to the Hooker Valley trail to get a manageable taste of the mountain range under your own steam. The full walk will take four hours, but if that sounds like an excessive amount of exercise, you can start at the car park rather than down in village. Today it’s well loved, carefully maintained path, but the trail is studded with memorials to climbers and guides who previously tackled Mount Cook with a little less ease.

The true treat of experiences in Mount Cook takes place under the cover of darkness. Head to Mount John to embark on an observatory tour, and be guided across the night sky by the best astronomers Canterbury University has to offer. Your guides are as educated as they are entertaining, detailing constellations and space debris that can be spotted with the naked eye, before giving you the chance to gaze through powerful telescopes to see the starlit sky close up.

There are lots of things to do in Marlborough Sounds, but one that we would highly recommend, especially after a couple of days on the walk-ways or waterways, is a visit to one of the regions world-famous vineyards. New Zealand wine, and particularly that of the Marlborough region has exploded over the last few years, with brands like Brancott Estate, Oyster Bay and Villa Maria become household names (in households that like wine, that is). The vineries in Marlborough are second to none in their friendliness, range, quality and stunning settings, so jump on a bike (or take a tour) and sample some of the best wines on the market – at their source!

Experiences in Marlborough Sounds are as many and varied as the winding waterways that sculpt this landscape, and working out which to prioritise can be tricky. But that’s where we can help! We’ve spent huge chunks of time in this part of the country (not just in the vineyards, you understand), and we’d love to share what we’ve learned so you can make the most of your time here.

Ready to Experience Everything Mount Cook and Tekapo Has to Offer?

We specialise in planning tailor-made itineraries focused on your personal interests. Want to have a chat? Our team are always on standby ready to answer any questions you may have. Talk to someone now by calling +44 (0) 1636 813 544. Alternatively, email us at or use our handy contact form to request a call back.