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The New Zealand Alpine Experience

James Cameron explores the dramatic alpine vistas, breathtaking landscapes and blue ice worlds of New Zealand.

I take inspiration from any natural place I go... up here on the mountains... or being on the Tasman Glacier, I do think of scenes.

James Cameron World-renowned filmmaker

Embrace the Mountains

It's difficult to avoid the mountains in New Zealand. In the South Island, the Southern Alps form an impressive backbone that fill the horizon and depict a rugged landscape of ice and rock. Picturesque mountains, glaciers, and azure lakes will have you reaching for your camera at every turn.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Hooker Valley Track, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Fraser Gunn

Swing high above the mountainside in the Hooker Valley, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is home to some of New Zealand's highest mountains and the longest glacier. Witness skyscraping peaks and a puzzle of ice valleys that extend almost to the sea. 

  • 40% of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is covered by glaciers.
  • Home to New Zealand's tallest mountain - Aoraki/Mount Cook.
  • More than 23 peaks over 3000 metres.

We had a very experienced mountain guide take us into an ice cave... I'd never been in an ice cave before, it was spectacular.

James Cameron World-renowned filmmaker

Glacier country can be found on the west coast of the South Island, where the nation’s two most accessible glaciers – Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier – are located.  These glaciers are well worth including as part of your New Zealand itinerary.

Fiordland
Routeburn Track, Fiordland

By Miles Holden

The three-hour return hike to Key Summit is a great way to get a taste for the Routeburn Track.

Exploring some of New Zealand’s walking and hiking trails. Experience dramatic schist bluffs and rock tors that stand like sculptures in the tussock landscape.

  • Thousands of kilometres of tracks.
  • Nine Great Walks and hundreds of other trails.
  • 950 accomodation huts located throughout National Parks across New Zealand.
Ruapehu
Red Crater, Ruapehu

By Legend Photography

Massive views await hikers at the top of Red Crater on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Further north, emerald lakes, alpine meadows and hot springs surround the largest volcanoes in the North Island, offering an environment of stunning diversity. Tongariro National Park is famous for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing among other things, where a day trek traverses otherworldly terrain along the slopes of three mountains.  

Where to next?

New Zealand Hiking Experience →

Urban New Zealand →

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