Mount Cook & Tekapo

Where is Mount Cook & Tekapo?

Known to the Maori’s as ‘Aoraki’, the cloud piercer, Mt Cook dominates the National Mount Cook National Park, in the area of New Zealand South Island known as the ‘Mackenzie Region’, right in the heart of the South Island.

Offering some of the best mountain panorama in the whole of New Zealand, travelling through the region, especially once you approach Mount Cook National Park takes is guaranteed to take twice as long as it could as you’ll be stopping at every bend to capture the incredible views on camera!

Don’t Miss

  • Walks in the Hooker Valley
  • Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre at the Hermitage, Mt Cook
  • The Glacier Explorers boat trip
  • Amazing night sky observations on an Earth and Sky tour, Lake Tekapo

Explore The Mackenzie Region

The Mackenzie region encompasses destinations including Lake Tekapo, Twizel and Burkes pass as well as Mount Cook, and offers some wonderful scenic highlights such as the Tasman Glacier, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the International Dark Sky Reserve.

Mount Cook National Park itself is home to New Zealand’s highest mountains, and some of the country’s most magnificent star gazing opportunities with its jaw droppingly clear night skies. A region of outstanding alpine beauty, there’s endless outdoor activities to enjoy here, and some fine accommodation and restaurants to rest aching legs and enjoy a well deserved meal (the views come for free!) after a busy day.

Most people base themselves in Mount Cook village for easy access to the glaciers and all the alpine adventures and activities that the area has to offer. Walking is a favourite activity in the region, and from the village you can take several short and relatively easy walks, our favourite of which is the two hour trail that leads up the Hooker Valley, rewarding you with stunning views once you reach the top.

If your legs need a rest, helicopters and ski planes offer scenic flights up onto the top of the Tasman Glacier, for a chance to really get close up to the Southern Hemispheres highest peak. Seeing the glacier close up, and exploring some of the caverns and dramatic ice formations are unforgettable experiences that will stay with you long after your holiday has ended.

The nearest towns to Mount Cook, and a little further North are Lake Tekapo, and Twizel, where you’ll find more accommodation options, together with cafes and restaurants. Tekapo is well worth a stop off on your way past if you’re driving from the West Coast across to Christchurch, if only to visit the iconic landmark of the Church of the Good Shepherd, near the head of the lake and take more photographs with the church and startlingly blue lake perfectly frames by the Southern Alps.

Ready to visit Mount Cook & Tekapo? Get in touch!

Insider Tips

Craig Clarke, helicopter pilot with the Helicopter Line (pictured here with Director, Barbara Cray) says, “If you’ve missed the opportunity for a flight on the West Coast because of bad weather, there’s always a second chance here at Glentanner, besides you get an awesome coffee from our excellent café.”

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