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Mount Cook National Park is a fantastic place to enjoy New Zealand’s winter, with skiing and snow sports, hot springs, and snow-capped mountains and glaciers sparkling in the sun. During summer, water sports and hiking are popular. Enjoy the scenic beauty while hiking near mountain peaks, beech forests and a landscape carved by glacial movement.
The park has hikes suited to all levels of fitness. Listen for fantails and kea parrots in the beech forest on the short Governor’s Bush Walk. The Kea Point and Glencoe walks are also short and easy, with rewarding Mount Cook views. For a longer walk, admire the mountain’s beauty from the 4-hour-long Hooker Valley Track which runs to the Hooker Glacier. Rest at Mount Cook Village and enjoy a hearty meal in one of the cosy restaurants or bars.
Adventurers can join a Mount Cook mountaineering expedition. Sir Edmund Hillary used the mountain to train for his historic Mount Everest climb. Mountaineering courses, not for the fainthearted, are offered on the peaks.
Head to Tekapo Springs to get warm in the hot pools. Enjoy views of mountain snowcaps from the outdoor pools or try the outdoor ice-skating rink, open between April and September. You can even try snow tubing. Nearby Lake Tekapo is a great base during the summer for horse riding, water skiing, mountain biking and boat cruises exploring the lake and its islands.
Ski atop the Tasman Glacier. Ski planes will fly you in over the stunning landscape for your adventure. In warmer months, catch a boat from Mount Cook Village to the glacier or take a guided kayaking tour to explore the terminus lake where icebergs form caverns and bridges.
Accommodation at Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo ranges from camping and backpacker lodging to five-star spa-resorts. It’s 261 kilometres (162 miles) to the national park from Queenstown and 329 kilometres (204 miles) from Christchurch. The villages of Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo and Twizel are all within an hour’s drive of each other.
There are heaps of ways to get the most out of this place. Here's just some things to do at Mount Cook National Park:
If you'd like even more options, have a look at our Canterbury things to do page.
Incomparable view from our modern, comfortable and spotlessly clean room. Lovely hotel with helpful staff.
We were very pleased with the smooth check in and amazing view it offered. We would most definitely stay here again.
Amazing location and views. I arrived after hours and they were very accommodating, providing detailed arrival instructions- however because of this and an early departure, I never really spoke to any of the staff on site. The room was nice, the bathroom smelt a bit musty, but overall I enjoyed the ...
Easy location, nice hostel. Rooms were sooooo hot at night, made sleeping very difficult.
Lovely views. Clean & private. The cooking facilities were adequate for a short stay. Nice outdoor deck area where we could enjoy a drink.
Very clean and new. Close to town. Quiet location. No complaints at all!
Good location and a clean place to stop overnight but not a resort property. Fixtures are basic and a bit tired but clean. Management and staff are pleasant.