Date: 11 September 2009
Aoraki/Mount Cook Visitor Centre interior
Associate Minister of Conservation, Hon. Kate Wilkinson, officially opened the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park’s refurbished and extended visitor centre today.
“Aoraki is significant for Ngai Tahu people, but it also draws crowds from across the planet,” said the Minister. “With a world-class visitor centre established at one of New Zealand’s iconic tourist destinations, the centre is becoming a destination in its own right.”
“It has the mountain and it has the stories, presented in a way that invites people in and makes them stay a while. It has the power and the presence more often felt when entering a great cathedral.”
The Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre has undergone a major revamp, increasing in size the original building to accommodate growing numbers of park visitors.
Since its doors opened to the public in October last year, finishing touches to interpretation and displays have continued, setting off the centrepiece – a large picture window looking out to the mountain Aoraki.
“The new layout of the building is designed to draw you in to look out on this view, and it encapsulates the overall theme ‘the allure of the mountain," said Ms Wilkinson.
The centre sets a high standard in tourism and education centres, aimed at benefitting New Zealand and New Zealanders.