The highest peak in New Zealand, the magnificent Mt. Cook (Aoraki) stands 12,349 feet (3,764 meters) tall.
The Maori name Aoraki means "cloud piercer" and its striking beauty makes it one of the island's finest mountains. Of New Zealand’s 27 mountains over 8,400 feet (3,000 meters) 22 of them are in this mountain range offering a spectacular display of snow-capped peaks and lush rainforested slopes.
The mountains glacial lakes are popular with people wanting to fish and sail while the rest of the mountain offers horse riding, 4x4 safaris, scenic flights and excellent mountain climbing for experienced climbers. Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mt. Cook in 1948 before climbing Everest in 1953.
The Tasman Glacier falls down the east side of the mountain with the Hooker Glacier falls to the west. It is possible to take guided skiing trips on Tasman Glacier while Hooker Glacier offers some excellent walking tracks.
Mount Cook Village is also referred to as "The Hermitage" and is situated 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from the summit. It’s a popular base with climbers and tourists. It is a 2.5 hour drive from both Christchurch and Queenstown.