The Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is situated in the center of New Zealand’s majestic South Island. The region is renowned for its clear starry nights – recently designated the largest International Dark Sky Reserve – brilliant sunny days, remarkable turquoise blue lakes, valleys of emerald green and snow-capped mountains. Although it encompasses 23 peaks over 9,000 feet high, this park is very accessible. State Highway 80 leads to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village which is situated beside scenic Lake Pukaki and provides a comfortable base for alpine activities. Mountaineers regard the area to be the best climbing region in Australasia, while less skilled adventurers find plenty of satisfaction with the mountain walks that lead to alpine tarns, herb fields and spectacular glacier views. Encounters with cheeky kea (mountain parrots) are part of the fun. At 16 miles in length, the mighty Tasman Glacier is a powerful piece of landscaping equipment. While it slowly carves the valley sides, it provides a landing place for small ski planes and helicopters. Surreal, milky lakes are a feature of the park – suspended, glacier-ground rock sediment makes the water opaque.
Tekapo Springs Hot Pools
Tekapo Springs offers three adjoining main hot pools landscaped in local greywacke rock and surrounded by the regions native alpine plants to create a natural setting. Pool temperatures range from forty degrees Celsius to thirty six degrees Celsius. The pools have benched seating around the edges so you can sit back, relax and soak.
From $16 per person
Heli Tour 20 mins incl Snow Landing
This short scenic option is the ideal opportunity to touch snow and experience the thrill of a helicopter flight. Sweep through the rugged high country landscape of the Ben Ohau Mountain Range to a landing site on a snow field high in the mountains. Enjoy the fantastic vista from this alpine setting as you look out to the mountains and glaciers, and down into the valleys that were carved out by glaciers centuries ago.
From $211 per person
Tasman Glacier Tour
An up close amazing encounter with icebergs, on a glacial terminal lake. Depart from Mount Cook Village outside The Hermitage Hotel. The bus will take you on a pleasant trip to the Tasman Valley, followed by a 20 minute alpine walk through the National Park. Then board your MAC boat, and enjoy the ever changing ice face of the Tasman Glacier icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. Commentary throughout the trip by your experienced guide.
From $130 per person