Things to Do in Mount Cook
Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park stretches from Westland to Fiordland on New Zealand's South Island, comprising a 434-square-mile (700-square-kilometer) UNESCO World Heritage Area. Star attractions include Tasman Glacier and the Hooker Valley wilderness—a mecca for climbers, hikers, skiers, and lovers of natural beauty.
Carving its way through the Southern Alps, the Tasman Glacier (Haupapa) is the largest glacier in New Zealand and a highlight of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. It’s also stunning—pristine white snow and ice at the glacier’s peak give way to craggy rocks and debris at the bottom, where glacier melt meets the silver waters of Lake Tasman.
Beneath towering Aoraki/Mount Cook, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is a tribute to the legendary New Zealand mountaineer and philanthropist. Discover peaks and valleys of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in the state-of-the-art cinema and study mementos from Hillary’s long life as an explorer.
Twenty-two of New Zealand’s highest mountains stand proud in the Southern Alps. Magnificent Mt. Cook (Aoraki) rises 12,217 feet (3,724 meters) tall, making it the country’s highest peak and one of the South Island's most prominent natural features. The Maori name Aoraki is aptly translated as “cloud piercer.”
Located in Mt. Cook Aoraki National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hermitage Hotel is a well-loved landmark. In prime position with fabulous views of the mountain, the hotel dominates the northern edge of Mt. Cook Village. Chalets, motel rooms, and lodge accommodation are offered at several locations around town.