Marie reports here on our blog about travel, adventure and weddings.
In the middle of the Southern Alps in the South Island lies the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook. Within easy driving distance of Christchurch, this alpine playground is popular for all kinds of activities from 4WD tours and horse treks through to boat cruises and scenic flights. The ever-changing scenery makes the area ideal for a variety of walks and hikes to suit all ages and abilities from short scenic walks to half-day hikes.
Overnight and extended tramps are made possible by a number of alpine cabins dotted along the way providing accommodation and a chance to recharge the batteries. Mount Cook has an abundance of wildflowers including the largest buttercup in the world, the Mount Cook Lily, providing attractive landscapes among hardy alpine shrubs. Mount Cook attractions and activities include skiing during the winter and spring months, fishing and tours to the Tasman glacier. Travel to Mt Cook on one of our buses from Christchurch passing through the small village of Lake Tekapo, picturesque Lake Pukaki and the lush farmlands of Geraldine.
Helicopter flights from Mount Cook take in the stunning beauty of the Southern Alps, glacial lakes and unique opportunity to experience a snow landing. Skiing is the number one activity on Mount Cook with conditions suiting all skiers from beginners through to advanced. For the more adventurous, Heli skiing and the chance to ski New Zealand’s longest glacier are among the highlights. Nearby Lake Tekapo offers spectacular natural hot pools, ice skating and stargazing along with the well-known attraction of the Church of the Good Shepherd.
The natural beauty of the Mount Cook area is best appreciated at a slow pace, so make sure to take your time. The Kea, New Zealand’s alpine parrot roams the Mount Cook National Park providing plenty of humour with its playful antics and the variety of unique bird and insect life makes for some intriguing wildlife viewing.