Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park: Places to go in Canterbury

Aoraki/Mt Cook from Sealy Tarns
Image: Michael Hamilton | Creative Commons


Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and rock, with 19 peaks over 3,000 metres including New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook.


All drone use must be authorised by DOC

A concession is required to use a drone on conservation land

Weather forecasts, up-to-date track information and conservation merchandise, including publications and maps, are available at the DOC Visitor Centre.

Place overview


  • Climbing
  • Hunting
  • Walking and tramping

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

About track difficulties
About hut categories

Climbing: Mountaineering

Aoraki/Mount Cook and the other high peaks attract mountaineers from around the world. They should only be attempted by experienced climbers/mountaineers.

Snow activities

Guided ski trips, suitable for intermediate skiers, can be taken down the Tasman Glacier.

Helicopters can take experienced skiers to a number of locations in the park for some wilderness experiences.

Ski touring is possible around the Tasman and Kelman huts. Alpine experience is required.

Specialist activities: Star gazing

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is one of the best places in New Zealand to view the night sky, either by yourself or with a guide. With no cities or even small towns close by, and the village with all downcast lighting, the night sky is crystal clear and ringed by mountain ranges.

Use the telescopes at the Hermitage Hotel to view Saturn's rings, Jupiter's moons, Magellanic Clouds and the various constellations that make up the night sky. Start your evening at the purpose-built planetarium at the Hermitage, before venturing out to see an amazing sparkling display.

Mountain biking

The Tasman Glacier Road

Track classification: Grade 1
Distance: 10-15 km
Time: 2 hr

Mountain biking is usually only permitted on formed roads within national parks. Opportunities therefore are limited, but some unsealed access roads can provide a scenic and pleasant ride. The Tasman Glacier Road from Mount Cook village up as far as Celmisia Flat provides a great trip.

Child/family friendly activities

Kiwi Ranger Programme

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    About this place

    Getting there

    This  park is located in the central part of the South Island, deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. Aoraki/Mount Cook village lies within the park with Twizel the nearest town outside. 


    Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre
    Phone:   +64 3 435 1186
    Address:   1 Larch Grove
    Aoraki/Mt Cook
    Full office details
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