MOUNT COOK – EXPLORE THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN NEW ZEALAND

Road leading to a mountain near Mount Cook, New Zealand

Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, and an unforgettable sight. It comes as no surprise that Mount Cook National Park is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. With so many exciting things to do in this alpine wonderland, you probably won’t get to all of them in one visit. For instance, you can choose to go on some of the amazing scenic walks, book a helicopter ride to view the spectacular mountain from above, or take in the jaw-dropping views through the windows of your restaurant or tavern while you savour a delicious dinner. Whether it is scenic sightseeing or hands-on alpine adventure that thrills you, Mount Cook has it. 

Mount Cook National Park, a monument to mountaineering

About two hours from the town of Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook National Park encompasses 722 square kilometres. 40% of this surface consists of glaciers, and in fact you will find eight of the twelve largest glaciers in New Zealand right here. Mount Cook’s traditional Maori name is Aoraki, fittingly meaning “Cloud Piercer”. At 3,724 metres above sea level it is New Zealand’s highest mountain. Thanks to its high altitude, it was the place where the renowned Sir Edmund Hillary trained for his Everest adventure. The Sir Edmund Hillary Visitor Centre is a tribute to this great explorer where you can learn more about what it took to achieve his feat.

Snow Capped Mountains in Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
Suspension Bridge Walk on the Hooker Valley Track at Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

The Hooker Valley Track: A Mount Cook walk for everyone

One of the best short walks around Mount Cook is the 10km return Hooker Valley Track. Although scenic and adventurous, this walk is suitable for most fitness levels. A hike across three suspension bridges and along the famous Hooker Valley Boardwalk will reward you with magnificent views of Mueller Lake, Mueller Glacier, Hooker Lake and Mount Cook itself. Join a Cheeky Kiwi Travel Tour to explore Mt Cook & Hooker Valley with a range of tour options

 Tasman Glacier 

The Tasman Glacier is the largest glacier in New Zealand and one that is a must to explore. At 23.5 kilometres (14.6 mi) in length this glacier is still extremely impressive despite shrinking considerably from the 1990s onwards. The best way to explore the glacier is by air with a scenic flight including glacier landing. For the really adventurous, consider a Heli Hike. Join a Cheeky Kiwi Mt Cook Tour and add a Glacier experience you will never forget.   

Tasman Glacier
View of Mount Cook and Lake Mueller from the Mueller Hut Lookout, Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

The Mueller Lake Hut and Viewpoint on Mount Cook

At 1,800 metres above sea level the Mueller Hut is one of the most popular alpine huts in New Zealand. This is due to its location near the Mueller Glacier and the stunning views from the hut. The hike to the hut climbs 1,042 metres over 5 and a half kilometres and provides an awesome adventure. Mueller Lake Viewpoint affords you with amazing views. If you are lucky you may even see an avalanche from the steep surrounding mountains.

Road leading to a high snow-capped mountain at Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Explore Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand

Experience our full day Mount Cook Adventure tour from Queenstown for an active alpine experience you will never forget. If the scenery is what enchants you, consider the Aoraki-Mount Cook Scenic Tour departing from Christchurch, or opt for our Queenstown to Christchurch tour via Mount Cook.

For an even more personalised adventure in this spectacular region, find out how to create your unique, custom tour led by our expert guides.

Tours & Activities including Mt Cook &/or Lake Tekapo