Mount Cook or Aoraki, this country's highest mountain at 3754m, gives its name to a 355,518ha national park of alpine ice, snow, rock, sub-alpine scrub, tussock and riverbed. Mount Cook Village, located in the Hooker Valley at the southern end of the park, is a major gateway to the area. The visitor centre offers information on alpine guide services and facilities for climbers and trans-alpine walkers, and can arrange scenic flights over the glaciers.
There are five major glaciers within the park – Mueller, Hooker, Tasman, Murchison and Godley – and large permanent snowfields on the Ball and Tasman Glaciers. The white mountain buttercup or Mount Cook Lily grows in profusion in the region, and native birds include the kea, a mischievous green parrot.
Alpine village and tourist centre at 747m altitude of the Hooker Valley, 16km south of Mount Cook.
Summer average: 20°C
Winter average: 7°C