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Mount Cook

Mount Cook: Our most recommended tours and activities

Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

1. Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience dramatic glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful alpine walks on a small-group day trip from Christchurch. After pick-up from your hotel, journey to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, located a 4 hours' drive through spectacular and breathtaking landscapes. Visit the historic town of Geraldine. Then discover the heart of Mackenzie Country, the captivatingly turquoise Lake Tekapo, the iconic Church of Good Shepherd, and the well-recognized statue of Sheepdog. Travel through Lake Pukaki and admire stunning views of Mt. Cook from a distance. Enjoy a short scenic hike in the National Park to view the 23.5kms long Tasman Glacier which is the longest glacier in New Zealand before returning to Christchurch.

Mount Cook: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Alpine Landing

2. Mount Cook: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Alpine Landing

**For Guaranteed snow landings all year round, please book our 45-minute Ultimate Alpine Combo** Experience Mount Cook National Park from the sky. Enjoy a 25-minute scenic adventure that includes an alpine landing amongst the mountains. Have exceptional views of Aoraki (Mt Cook) and the surrounding snow-capped mountain ranges right from take off.  Be captivated throughout the entire flight. Explore the valleys and peaks of the national park. Journey through the Tasman Valley and over a breathtaking blue glacier lake. Experience an alpine landing in the Southern Alps.  Disembark the aircraft and enjoy the elevated alpine landscape before returning to the helicopter to fly back to Mount Cook Airport. Your expert pilot will offer informative and interesting commentary throughout the flight to ensure you receive the best possible experience. *Snow landings occur approx. 95% of the year, however due to seasonality, snow landings cannot be guaranteed all year round. This is due to a lack of snowfall during the summer months.*

From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

3. From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

Visit breathtaking locations in Queenstown as you make your way to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Travel with a reliable tour guide who will share stories and rich background knowledge on Queenstown and the Mount Cook area. Start your tour in the stunning city of Queenstown. Drive through the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and marvel at the scenery the Kawarau Gorge has to offer. Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to take photos of your stunning view. Then, enter the region of Cromwell, famous for fruits and wine and where you can see huge fields of vines. Next, traverse the majestic Lindis Pass which lies between two valleys against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. This stretch of highway is one of the only three Alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. After taking photos at the top of the pass, drive through the Mackenzie District and visit the township of Omarama. Turning west, you'll enter Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, and Lake Pukaki will emerge in front of you. Proceed to the start of the Hooker Valley Track and depart on a 3-hour self-guided hike with amazing views of Hooker Lake, Hooker Glacier, and Mount Cook. Finish your tour by visiting High Country Salmon as you make your way back to Queenstown.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

4. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

At 3724m, Aoraki/Mt Cook is by no means among the world’s tallest but with the nearby Mt Cook village just 750m above sea-level, the mountain can be viewed without any acclimatization whatsoever, and so this tour is perfect for people of all levels of fitness. The guided tour begins with pickups in Queenstown and Frankton, before you then travel through the stunning Kawarau gorge to Cromwell. After making a comfort stop in the quaint township of Omarama (where you have the option to taste one of the best creamy chicken pies in New Zealand), you climb your way through Lindis Pass, one of only 3 alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. As you exit the Pass, you may catch glimpses of the mighty mountain itself; but before arriving there is much more to see, including what many consider one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Lake Pukaki is one of the bluest lakes you will ever see, and is framed by the backdrop of Aoraki and its brothers in the Southern Alps. The location of several scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lake Pukaki is a destination in and of itself. You soon pass the delta where the mountain’s various rivers, creeks and streams converge to form the lake, and the mountain continues to grow steadily in stature and grandeur until the shear scale of the view makes you feel powerless. Arriving at the alpine village of Mt Cook and the Hermitage - home of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - you now have the freedom to explore in whatever way suits your energy levels and budget. Please select the activity you would like to include during the booking process, which are at an additional charge.

Mount Cook: 3 Hour Heli Hike to the Tasman Glacier

5. Mount Cook: 3 Hour Heli Hike to the Tasman Glacier

Enjoy a once in a lifetime heli hiking experience on the Tasman Glacier in the Aoraki (Mount Cook) National Park. Begin your adventure with a flight from Mount Cook airport over the gorgeous Tasman Glacier Lake and ice formations. Venture on to the surprisingly undulating ice terrain, in the shadow of the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, Aoraki, and Mount Tasman. Be equipped with glacier boots and crampons and spend 2 hours in another world in the mountains. On the return flight home, you will fly close to the massive 1,000-meter high Hochstetter Icefall on the eastern face of Aoraki. Take in the picturesque landscapes that are covered in beautiful white snow and ice year round. 

Mount Cook: 3-Hour Tasman Glacier Helicopter Ride and Hike

6. Mount Cook: 3-Hour Tasman Glacier Helicopter Ride and Hike

Enjoy a tour that will acquaint you with New Zealand’s biggest glacier and provide you with spectacular helicopter views of the country’s largest mountain, Aoraki or Mount Cook. To start your tour you will fly to your drop-off point on a remote part of the glacier. During your tour, explore amazing ice formations, following your guide as they cut steps in the glacier. Complete your trip with another spectacular scenic flight back to the base of the mountain. Every journey is unique because the glacier is everchanging. Your experienced guides are always finding something new and interesting to show you. Spend up to 2 hours on the ice, weather permitting.

Mount Cook: Ski Plane and Helicopter Alpine Combo Flight

7. Mount Cook: Ski Plane and Helicopter Alpine Combo Flight

Fly in a ski plane and a helicopter on the same day for an unforgettable experience of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Enjoy a scenic adventure that includes a glacier snow landing. From take-off to landing, enjoy spectacular views. Fly up the Tasman Valley over the breathtaking blue glacier lake. See the Hochstetter Icefall and the cloud-piercing Aoraki/Mount Cook before landing on the upper snowfields of the Tasman Glacier.  Take time to enjoy this unique alpine environment. These mountains are covered in snow and ice all year round, and the aircraft fully shuts down on landing.  Then, swap aircraft and return to Mount Cook Airport. During the tour, you'll also see Tasman Terminal Lake, Grand Plateau, Plateau Hut, as well as the full length of the Tasman Glacier.

Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

8. Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

The day begins with early morning pickup from your accommodation in Queenstown and heads through the heart of the South Island towards New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. Along the way, soak up unforgettable scenic views and stop at the Cromwell Fruit Bowl, Lindis Pass, Omarama, and Lake Pukaki. As you travel, listen to your guide’s fascinating commentary about the local scenery, history, and culture. Arrive at Mount Cook Village and spend 3.5 hours exploring. Choose to take a walk on the famous Hooker Valley Track, or experience the incredible activities on offer at Mount Cook including Tasman Glacier Heli Hikes, scenic flights, or the Glacier Explorer boat tour. Included in this tour is complimentary access to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. That afternoon rejoin your guide and van to commence the return journey to Queenstown. Sit back, relax, and take in the views. This day tour spans approximately 12 hours, and our smaller vehicles and attentive guide ensure your comfort and entertainment throughout the journey.

Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

9. Franz Josef Town: 3-Glacier Helicopter Ride with Landing

Take in three of New Zealand’s most impressive glaciers during a helicopter ride. Land on the elevated snow landing site to take photos of the spectacular views. Meet at the local partner’s office to check in and attend a safety briefing. Then, following a transfer to a private hangar, you will meet your pilot and board the helicopter for takeoff. Put your headset on to listen to your pilot's guided commentary. Fly over the terminal moraine of the ancient Franz Josef Glacier and up the valley to see the big three from above. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are ice rivers that plug New Zealand's longest glacier: the Tasman Glacier. Take in their ice pinnacles and crevasses while flying amongst some of New Zealand’s biggest mountains. Admire Mount Cook in the impressive Southern Alps. Land on an elevated snow landing site to enjoy stunning views of Westland Tai Poutini National Park for 15 minutes. You will have plenty of time to take photos before returning to the hangar.

From Tekapo: Mt Cook day tour via Pukaki, Tasman Glacier

10. From Tekapo: Mt Cook day tour via Pukaki, Tasman Glacier

-Itinerary- Meeting point 8:00 AM Our meeting point for the tour is the car park at Four Square Supermarket. Peter’s lookout 9:00 AM One of the best views of Lake Pukaki and Aoraki(Mt Cook),and the surrounding Southern Alps is absolutely stunning, making it a must-visit spot. Hermitage Hotel 9:30 AM If you prefer not to participate in the hiking activity, you can choose to disembark at the hotel and reassemble at 3 PM. Tasman Glacier 9:45 AM For a memorable experience, consider exploring a brief walking track boasting magnificent views of the Tasman Glacier (New Zealand’s longest glacier) and Terminal Lake. Please note that this track is relatively short but does involve ascending approximately 300 steps. Hooker Valley track 10:45 AM You are free to walk at your own pace on this self-guided walk. The average walking time is 3 to 3.5 hours. At any time, our driver can take you to the village after you finish hiking. Enjoy your free time in the village until the return time. If you are not very keen on long day hikes, alternative short walking tracks are available around Mount Cook village. Hermitage Hotel 3:00 PM Please gather in front of the hotel at 3 pm to return to Lake Tekapo. If you are engaged in another activity or require pickup from a different location, please inform the driver on the day of the tour. Lake Pukaki 3:50 PM A brief stop is scheduled at Lake Pukaki, allowing time for taking photos and visiting the Alpine Salmon Shop. Lake Tekapo 4:30-5:00 PM The group returns to the village around 5:00pm. Please ask our driver if you require a drop-off at your accommodation.

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What people are saying about Mount Cook

Overall rating

(391 reviews)

Our driver/guide Cameron was the best! He was nice and knowledgable, shared a lot of info about the area. The stops on the way and back were great - we managed to both get some pretty cool views and visit the restrooms. We opted for the basic package - Mt Cook tour only, so we had 3h free time to do any walks. We decided to do the best one - the Hooker Valley Track. It's mostly flat and you stay in the valley, so you don't need warm clothes or hiking shoes for it, it can actually get pretty hot, and then change to very windy, so you should dress in layers. The 3 hours are just enough to do the Hooker Valley Track, without making long breaks or having time to eat, so I wish we had at least 30min to 1h more, so we can actually sit and enjoy.

A very nice activity if you have a good day. The guide is very attentive and stops at many places. Good explanations. If you don't have a way to go see Mount Cook, it is a good quality-price option! It is a very nice tour but you need good weather. Rintaro (the guide) is very kind and he stopped the best lookout. If you don't have a car to go to Moutn Cook it is the best option. It is really worth it!

We were awestruck by the beauty of mt cook and the experience of flying over it and landing on the ice field. This is the only way to get up close to a glacier. Our pilot shut the plane down and we experienced the beauty in complete silence. Most awesome experience of our 30 day trip in NZ and we most highly recommend it.

Very nice trip. Enjoyed the location and travel. Guide was very informative and helpful. Mini bus was a bit tight but ok. Overall very good.

The view is good, the travel guide is also a good guy, gave us lots of useful advices.