COUNTRY: NEW ZEALAND
DURATION: 2 DAYS
Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand, is where Sir Edmund Hillary prepared to become the first to successfully climb Mount Everest. The area is easily accessed on the Christchurch to Queenstown road in the scenic south island of New Zealand and is a breathtaking assembly of the Southern Alps Mountain Range.
Allow yourself time to marvel at the drive into the Park alongside the blue lake that is Lake Pukaki, as there will be plenty of photo opportunities on what is one of the most photographed roads in New Zealand.
The National Park has many amazing trails through the valleys and natural formations. A little preparation before your arrival will ensure you get the most out of your stay. The Hooker Valley trail and Tasman Valley trail come highly recommended. Be sure to bring appropriate gear and keep an eye on weather to improve your chances of catching a glimpse of the peak.
The Tasman Glacier is one of the most peaceful and tranquil places I have ever been. Sit atop the nearby look out (top most image) and marvel at its beauty for as long as you wish. There are boat tours that take you around the lake, near the front of the Glacier allowing you to get a sense of the sheer scale of the icebergs.
New Zealand is the land of the camper van. It allows you see the island as you please, stopping for impropute lunches and setting up camp in almost any location. As an alternative here, we would recommend hotel Aoriki Mount Cook Village with the adjacent scenic restaurant 'The Chamois'.
Assuming you have a camper van or rental car or are on many of the organised tours you will easily make the day journey to Mount Cook from Christchurch. My top tip to anyone travelling New Zealand is to take the world famous interislander ferry from Wellington and hop on the train to Christchurch, hugging the magnificent Pacific coastline on the way.