The track to New Zealand’s highest mountain is a well-beaten one, but for many visitors to New Zealand the views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps, whether seen from land or air, are some of the most memorable on their trip. Aoraki means ‘Cloud Piercer’ in the Maori language and on a clear day, you can get a wonderful view of this majestic peak.
- We leave Christchurch this morning and travel through diverse farmland to Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd and take in the sights of the spectacular Southern Alps mountain range. We then continue to the location of New Zealand’s tallest mountain Aoraki / Mount Cook.
- We stop for lunch in Aoraki / Mt Cook Village, set within a National Park. Take advantage of your time here to enjoy the majestic scenery. There is time to experience an optional scenic helicopter or ski plane flight (additional cost, weather permitting).
- This afternoon our tour continues south through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route enjoy afternoon tea (own expense) in the quaint village of Omarama and a visit to the Jones Family Orchard (time permitting) near Cromwell. Our tour concludes this evening in world famous Queenstown.
Thing’s to Do
- Climbing, Hiking and Walking – Follow in the great man’s footsteps as these mountains were his training ground. Hire a guide and give mountain climbing a go, or simply enjoy the alpine wilderness and seek out the largest buttercup in the world, the Aoraki/Mt Cook lily.
- Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre – Find out more about the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people via a spectacular state-of-the-art 3D movie, New Zealand’s first full dome digital planetarium and museum which documents the pioneering heart of the region and features the impressive Hillary Gallery.
- Lake Tekapo – This remarkable turquoise-coloured lake is framed by the majesty of the Southern Alps and offers a wide variety of activities including tramping/hiking, mountain biking, climbing, horse trekking, fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, scenic flights, star gazing, skiing, heli-skiing, ski touring, cross-country skiing, ice skating, hot spas, snow tubing, water-skiing and windsurfing.