In the heart of the South Island's lies the Mount Cook Mackenzie region. With mountains, lakes and glaciers, it's picture-perfect from every angle.
The first glimpse of Aoraki Mount Cook across the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki is one that will last you a lifetime. There are 19 peaks in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park over 3,000 metres but at 3,754 metres, Aoraki Mount Cook dwarfs them. If you’re a climber then this is one of the best climbing regions in Australasia but if you’re inclined to less dramatic adventure there’s hiking with mountain walks that lead to alpine tarns and spectacular glacier views.
Nearby, the small farming town of Fairlie marks the beginning of the Mackenzie Country – an area named after a legendary Scottish sheep rustler who once roamed the hills. Fairlie is handy to a number of ski fields or take a tour of Raincliff Historic Reserve to see wonderful Maori rock art.
Take a ski-plane trip from the massive Tasman Glacier and get a bird’s eye view of the glorious magnificent scenery including the surreal opaque torquoise-coloured lakes that are a feature of this glaciated area. Lake Tekapo is one of these and Tekapo township features, amongst other attractions, the exquisite Church of the Good Shepherd which, with its alter window framing Aoraki Mount Cook, is probably the most photographed church in the country.