Mt Cook Aoraki New Zealand
Mt Cook known to Māori as Aoraki or Cloud Piercer. Located in the heart of the Mackenzie region, Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is part of UNESCO’s Te Wāhipounamu (The Place of Greenstone) World Heritage. Australasia’s highest mountain Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,724m) nestled in the splendid Southern Alps.
Several years ago I did a seven-day bus tour around the South Island. One of the stops on this tour was Mt Cook driving from Christchurch to Queenstown. It was a long day as its 4 hours to Mt Cook and 3 hours to Queenstown. It is advisable to stay over night to break the journey.
There is a variety of accommodation – hostels, holiday parks, lodges and motels.
- Tasman Glacier, take a tour on a Argo 8 wheel all terrain vehicle or cruise on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake
- Visit Sir Edmond Hillary Alpine Centre, he was the first climber to reach the summit of Mt Everest
- Take a break/photo stop at Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki
- Scenic Flights – By helicopter or fixed wing plane
- Stargazing – You can explore the southern sky every clear evening from the Hillary Deck with expert astronomy guides. with Big Sky Stargazing
- Walking & Hiking – Long or short walks from Aoraki / Mount Cook Village
The Ngāi Tahu (local Māori people) legend of Aoraki / Mount Cook is the story of Aoraki and his 3 brothers. They were the sons of Rakinui (the Sky Father) and they were on a voyage around Papa-tū-ā-nuku (the Earth Mother) when disaster struck and they became stranded upon a reef.
The voyagers climbed on to the top side of the canoe and after a time the south wind froze them and turned them into stone. Their canoe became the South Island (Te Waka o Aoraki is the oldest name for the South Isand) and Aoraki who stood tallest of the brothers is now seen as the majestic Aoraki / Mount Cook with the Southern Alps as his brothers and other members of his crew.