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Discover the many ways to explore Mount Cook National Park

The highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook towers over the South Island providing spectacular landscapes and boundless possibilities for exploration.

With so many different opportunities to discover this beautiful and unique environment, we’ve rounded up all the different ways you can get out and explore Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Whether you’re into hiking, flying, kayaking, or just plain relaxing, there’s a way for you to enjoy this incredible corner of New Zealand.

Driving

The drive into Mount Cook National Park is touted as one of the greatest scenic drives in New Zealand, so be sure to take your time and enjoy it! Once you’re in the park and looking for a bit more adventure, why not take a Tasman Valley 4-wheel drive tour through the mountains?

Hiking

The stomping ground for Sir Edmund Hillary during his early years and lead-up to his famous first ascent of Mount Everest, Mount Cook National Park has hiking, mountaineering and climbing options for people of every age and ability. Take a gentle stroll along the Hooker Valley Track or Kea Point Walk, or follow in Ed Hillary footsteps and join a guided expedition to tackle the summit of Mount Cook!

Star Gazing

A recognised International Dark Sky Reserve, Mount Cook National Park is the perfect place to experience one of the darkest skies in the world. Join a Big Sky Stargazing tour, look up, and marvel at the millions of stars shining above you.

Boating

Be it under your own steam with a kayak tour or on a specially made glacier lake motor boat, exploring Tasman Glacier Lake in Mount Cook National Park is an experience not to miss. Get up close to the ice bergs and enjoy being dwarfed by the mountains surrounding you.

Flying

If you have a little more money to burn, definitely consider taking a scenic flight around Mount Cook. There are numerous companies offering helicopter flights and ski plane flights with different length tours, many of which include a snow landing. If you want to really get your adrenaline pumping, take a few runs with a heli-ski company in winter and feel the thrill of exploring your own personal ski field for a day!

Relaxing

Kick back and relax at the Hermitage Hotel. Nestled into the centre of Mount Cook National Park, the hotel boasts panoramic views directly towards Mount Cook. Enjoy a delicious meal in one of the restaurants, see the night sky up close and learn about the cosmos at the Digital Dome Planetarium, and settle in to a cosy bed with views out over the mountains.