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Aoraki Mount Cook National Park in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island is home to some of the most spectacular scenery, so much so it is a World Heritage area. Within the national park you will find New Zealand’s highest mountain, longest glacier, largest buttercup, largest mountain parrot and darkest skies. Nestled within the national park is Aoraki Mount Cook Village, which hosts a range of accommodation options and activities that take advantage of this uniquely spectacular part of the world.
Walking or Hiking
Whether you are an experienced hiker or just looking for a great experience Aoraki Mount Cook has an incredible assortment of walking or hiking options from short bush walks to overnight hikes. Walking Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a great way to experience some of the area’s more remote scenery including snow capped mountains, glaciers, native wildflowers, mountain streams and waterfalls. Guided walks are available for full or half day walks up the Hooker Valley.
Terminal Lake Boat Cruise
This is a boat cruise with a difference unlike anything else that exists in New Zealand. Cruise around Tasman Glacier’s terminal lake onboard Glacier Explorer’s custom built boats. At times the opportunity exists to view, touch and taste icebergs that periodically break away from the glacier face. Experience a view of the Southern Alps like no other.
4WD and Argo Tours
What is an Argo? An Argo is an 8 wheel all terrain vehicle that can go almost anywhere and you can take a trip up the Tasman Valley in one with Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours. Stopping at vantage points along the way you will see spectacular scenery, mountain streams, views over Tasman Glacier, its terminal lake and when in season a Mount Cook Lily, the largest buttercup in the world.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, meaning the darkness of the night sky is almost unbeatable. What a perfect location for stargazing. Big Sky Stargazing runs nightly stargazing tours which include a planetarium orientation before heading to the outdoor stargazing site. The informative guides, telescopes and binoculars allow you to view the southern sky, planets, moons and the Milky Way.
Museum and Theatre
Located adjacent to The Hermitage Hotel is the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Built as a tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary the museum showcases the history of the Mount Cook region through transport, climbing, The Hermitage Hotel and pioneer extraordinaire, Sir Edmund Hillary himself. The centre has its own 3D theatre and digital dome planetarium showcasing 3D films, documentaries and planetarium shows throughout the day.
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