Mount Cook New Zealand Insider Travel Tips

Last Updated: 19th January, 2020

Guest Posted: By Samantha Samuel.

Mount Cook New Zealand Insider Travel Tips

Mount Cook Insider Travel Tips in 2020

Aoraki/Mt. Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain topping out at at a whopping 3,724 meters (12,218 ft) located in the center of the South Island in Canterbury, one of my favorite regions. And trust me, she’s a beauty. With a bold, super iconic peak, there’s no mistaking Mt. Cook when you are within a hundred miles of it. It stands out above and beyond the surrounding Southern Alps.

Mount_Cook_New_Zealand

Mt. Cook village is a little town 12km from the base of the mountain, and it’s a tiny little town that I love to just hanging out in. Population – 250 on a good day. 2.5 hours from Wanaka, it’s a great weekend getaway or easy day trip

How hard is it to climb Mount Cook

Climbing Mount Cook is a serious undertaking. Do not underestimate the difficulty because of the relatively low summit elevation. There are no walk-up or non technical routes up the mountain. The standard route on the mountain, Linda Glacier, is signifcantly more difficult than Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier. Do not attempt this climb without very good skills in glacier travel, creavase rescue, protective systems, steep snow climbing, and ice climbing.

Due to often unstable weather, figure on 6-7 days for a summit attempt.

climb of Aoraki Mount Cook takes at least three climbing days. To book a guide for less than 6 days is unrealistic as it allows no flexibility in case of bad weather, and reduces your chances considerably of a successful climb.

Check out this Amazing Video on YouTube

Accommodation in Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook village is a tiny place for the amount of visitors it gets each summer. I won’t be surprised if in future they limit access to the road.

If you are camping you can stay at the Whitehorse Hill campground operated by the Department of Conservation. It is few kilometres away from the village and it’s a great starting point for many trails I have mentioned in this post. The campsite operates on a first come first serve basisThere is a self registration station and you will need cash. 

Being in a national park certainly has its drawbacks with regards to planning permission but thankfully, it means there aren’t loads of hotels ruining the views. With limited options though booking competition is tough. 

If you want to overnight directly in the village and camping isn’t your thing make sure you book your accommodation well in advance.  At least few months!

Best activities in Mount Cook

HELICOPTER FLIGHTS

Scenic helicopter flight is a prime choice for those wanting to see the mountains from above. They range in price depending on duration and amount of landings but will give you better views than you can get on any hike. If you were planning on taking a heliflight in New Zealand, Mount Cook is one of the best places for it! 

Our top pick is The Glaciers Helicopter Flight.

Mount Cook and the Glaciers Helicopter Flight

SKI PLANE TOUR

Ski Plane Tours are arguably even better than helicopter tours, as the ride tends to last longer. The downside is that planes are much less manoeuvrable and exciting. Saying that, there is a great combo deal allowing you to experience both!

MOUNT COOK MAP

Mount Cook Map

When is the best time to visit Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki

Because Mount Cook is so high, it often tends to “hide” in the clouds. So any day with little to no clouds or with high clouds (cirrus or altocumulus) would be perfect to visit Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki.

You can visit Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki in any season and see snow on the mountain.

However, in early spring, late autumn, and winter, the snow on Mount Cook tends to be lower down the mountain than at any other time of the year.

In winter however, you can get bonus views of a snow-covered Ben Ohau Range with Lake Pukaki in the foreground from Hayman Road, which lies west of Lake Pukaki.

Keep in mind, though, that because Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki are located at a higher elevation than, for example, Christchurch, the region can occasionally get snowed-in in winter.

Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand, viewed from the shores of Lake Pukaki

Lake_Pukaki

Lake Pukaki Spillway Release

Lake Pukaki – Canterbury, New Zealand

Lake Pukaki - Canterbury, New Zealand

3 Aoraki Mt Cook Must-Dos (apart from Helicopter & Ski Plane Tours)

1. Walk The Hooker Valley Track

It’s stunning, it takes about three hours, and it’s free. That’s why the Hooker Valley Track tops our list of Aoraki Mt Cook must-dos! No matter what your budget is, you can enjoy this easy-going 3-hour return walk through the Hooker Valley toward the vibrant and glacial Hooker Lake. Soak up the views of several impressive glaciers and New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook.

Location: Start the Hooker Valley Track from the White Horse Hill Campground car park at the end of the Hooker Valley Road, 2km from Mt Cook Village.

2. Heli-Hike On The Tasman Glacier

Explore the ice caves and walk on top of New Zealand’s longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier! Take a scenic helicopter flight with captivating glacier valley views and land straight onto the ice. Your guide will show you the unusual features of this ever-changing alpine environment, often including ice caves, stepping over deep crevasses and more.

3. Go Boating On The Tasman Lake

The Tasman Lake is where the Tasman Glacier terminates, releasing huge ice burgs into the lake. Get up-close to these ice giants on a boating tour of the Tasman Lake! Tours involve a drive and short walk to the lake where you’ll then board a small boat for a trip on the vibrant turquoise glacial lake which is ever-changing! In fact, the lake only formed in 1989 and has been expanding ever since. Kayak tours on the lake are also available on the lake. Be aware that lake activities are seasonal and are only available between early September and late May.

Location: Trips depart from Mt Cook Village in various pick-up locations.

World Map – Country’s Tourism Slogan

Last Updated: 29th January, 2019

All Country’s Tourism Slogan

Looking for a World Map with Slogans on Travel & Tourism? Holiday website Family Break Finder has collected all of them (except 38 countries that don’t have one) and put them on an interesting map.

Some tourism departments have clearly been working harder than others with a handful of countries opting for simple alliteration rather than trying anything fancy (“Incredible India”; “Beautiful Bangladesh”; “Pristine Paradise Palau”; “Brilliant Barbados”).

  1. Scotland – “A spirit of its own”
  2. Cape Verde – “No stress”
  3. Latvia – “Best enjoyed slowly”
  4. Norway – “Powered by nature”
  5. Bahamas– “Life is Grand”

Here goes the Comprehensive list:

Albania – Go your own way!
Algeria – Tourism for everybody
Andorra – The Pyrenean Country
Antigua and Barbuda  – The beach is just the beginning
Argentina – Beats to your rhythm
Armenia – Visit Armenia, It is Beautiful
Australia – There’s NOTHING like Australia
Austria – Arrive and revive
Bahamas – Life Is Grand
Bahrain – Ours. Yours. Bahrain
Bangladesh – Beautiful Bangladesh
Barbados – Brilliant Barbados
Belarus – Hospitality Beyond Borders
Belgium – The place to be
Belize – Mother Nature’s Best-Kept Secret
Bhutan – Happiness is a place
Bolivia – Bolivia awaits you
Bosnia and Herzegovina – The heart of SE Europe
Botswana – Our pride, your destination
Brazil – Brasil – sensational!
Brunei Darussalam – A kingdom of unexpected treasures
Bulgaria – A discovery to share
Burundi – Beautiful Burundi
Cabo Verde – No stress
Cambodia – Kingdom of wonder
Cameroon – All of Africa in one country
Canada – Keep exploring
Chad – Oasis of the Sahel
Chile – All are welcome
China – China Like Never Before
Colombia – Colombia is magical realism
Costa Rica – Essential Costa Rica
Croatia – Full of life
Cuba – Autentica Cuba
Cyprus – Cyprus in your heart
Czech Republic – Land of stories
Denmark – Happiest place on Earth!
Djibouti – Djibeauty
Dominica – The nature island
Dominican Republic – Dominican Republic has it all
Ecuador – All you need is Equador
Egypt – Where it all begins
El Salvador – The 45 Minute Country
Estonia – Epic Estonia
Ethiopia Land of origins
Fiji – Where Happiness Finds You
Finland – I wish I was in Finland
France – Rendez vous en France
Gambia – The smiling coast of Africa
Georgia – For the best moments of your life
Germany – Simply inspiring
Greece – All Time Classic
Grenada – Pure Grenada
Guatemala – Heart of the Mayan World
Guyana – South America Undiscovered
Haiti – Experience It!
Honduras – Everything is here
Hungary – Think Hungary more than expected
Iceland – Inspired by Iceland
India – Incredible !ndia
Indonesia – Wonderful Indonesia
Iran – You Are Invited
Iraq – The Other Iraq (Kurdistan)
Ireland – Jump into Ireland
Israel – Land of Creation
Italy – Made in Italy
Jamaica – Get All Right
Japan – Endless discovery
Jordan – Yes, it’s Jordan
Kazakhstan – The land of wonders
Kenya – Magical Kenya
Kiribati – For travellers
Kyrgyzstan – Oasis on the Great Silk Road
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) – Simply Beautiful
Latvia – Best enjoyed slowly
Lebanon – Live Love Lebanon
Lesotho – The Kingdom In The Sky
Liechtenstein – Experience princely moments
Lithuania – Real is beautiful
Luxembourg – Live your unexpected Luxembourg
Macedonia – Macedonia Timeless
Madagascar – A genuine island, a world apart
Malawi – The warm heart of Africa
Malaysia – Truly Asia
Maldives – The sunny side of life
Malta – Truly Mediterranean
Mauritius – It’s a pleasure
Mexico – Live It to Believe It
Micronesia (Federated States of) – Experience the warmth
Monaco – Easy going Monaco
Mongolia – Go Nomadic
Montenegro – Wild Beauty
Morocco – Much mor
Mozambique – Come to where it all started
Myanmar – Let the journey begin
Namibia – Endless horizons
Nepal – Once is not enough
Netherlands – The original cool
New Zealand – 100% Pure
Nicaragua – Unica. Original!
Nigeria – Good people, great nation
Norway – Powered by nature
Oman – Beauty has an address
Pakistan – It’s beautiful, it’s Pakistan
Palau – Pristime Paradise Palau
Panama – Panama Surprises
Papua New Guinea – A million different journeys
Paraguay – You have to feel it!
Peru – Land of the Incas
Philippines – It’s more fun in the Phillipines
Poland – Move your imagination
Portugal – Europe’s West Coast
Qatar – Where dreams come to life
Republic of Korea (South Korea) – Imagine your Korea
Republic of Moldova – Discover the routes of life
Romania – Explore the Carpathian garden
Russian Federation – Reveal your own Russia
Rwanda – Remarkable Rwanda
Saint Kitts and Nevis – Follow your heart
Saint Lucia – Simply beautiful
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Discover SVG
Samoa – Beautiful Samoa
San Marino – San Marino For All
Saudi Arabia – Experience to discover
Serbia – My Serbia
Seychelles – Another world
Sierra Leone – The freedom to explore
Singapore – Your Singapore
Slovakia – Travel in Slovakia – Good idea
Slovenia – I feel SLOVEnia
Solomon Islands – Seek the unexplored
South Africa – Inspiring new ways
Spain #spainindetail
Sri Lanka – Wonder of Asia
Suriname – A Colorful Experience… Exotic beyond words
Swaziland – A royal experience
Switzerland – Get natural
Syrian Arab Republic – Always Beautiful
Tajikistan – Feel the friendship
Thailand – Amazing Thailand. It begins with the people
Timor-Leste – Being first has its rewards
Tonga – The true South Pacific
Trinidad and Tobago – The true Caribbean
Tunisia – I feel like Tunisia
Turkey -Be our guest
Tuvalu – Timeless Tuvalu
Uganda – You’re welcome
Ukraine – It’s all about U
United Arab Emirates – Discover all that’s possible
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Home of amazing moments
United Republic of Tanzania – The land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti
United States of America – All within your reach
Uruguay – Uruguay natural
Uzbekistan – Naturally Irresistible!
Vanuatu – Discover what matters
Venezuela – Venezuela is your destination!
Vietnam – Timeless charm
Zambia – Let’s explore
Zimbabwe – A world of wonders

Source: Google Docs