Next on our list of bucket list destinations, it’s Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – home to NZ’s tallest mountain.
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage area and is famous for housing Australasia’s tallest peak, Mount Cook, soaring above at 3,724 metres (12,218 feet)!
The park is a collection of stunning peaks, turbulent rivers, beautiful lakes + glaciers. A true haven for hikers and regarded by many as the best climbing region in Australasia. Mountaineer, Sir Edmund Hillary used Mount Cook to develop his climbing skills in preparation for his conquest of Everest, which gives you an idea of the sheer size of this mountain.
Located in the centre of the park is the Mt Cook Alpine Village + iconic Hermitage Hotel which has been treating its guests to World-class views since 1884! The hotel has a bar and restaurant with outdoor seating offering views of the surrounding mountains that will take your breath away. The village is also home to the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre, which features New Zealand’s first full-dome digital Planetarium and a 3D movie theatre.
Above all, this national park has some of the best hiking tracks in the country. The Hooker Valley Track is the most popular short walking track in this region as it is suitable for all walkers. Although it’s just 5km long and 100m high, the views will make you think you’ve climbed a mountain!
For a truly special visit, treat yourself to a scenic helicopter flight or challenge yourself to one of the World’s most scenic skydives to see these stunning peaks, glaciers and lakes from above!