Of the 27 mountains above 3,000 metres in New Zealand, Mt Cook is the highest, reaching a staggering height of 3,764 metres. It is located on the South Island in the Southern Alps region, an area of mountains which span the length of the island. It is one of the Southern Hemisphere's most popular destinations for hikers, mountain climbers and trekkers due to its sheer size and beauty as well as its climbing difficulty and remoteness which add to the danger factor drawcard which so many adventurers seek. Aoraki, means "Cloud Piercer" and is the name given to the mountain by the indigenous Maori people. Mt Cook, as it is more commonly known, is the name given to the mountain by Captain James Cook the British Explorer who discovered Australia and New Zealand.
The mountain itself has three summits lying slightly south and east of the main divide, they are aptly named; the Low Peak, Middle Peak and High Peak, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the Hooker Glacier to the west. Sitting in the heart of New Zealand's Alpine country it is surrounded by more than 700 square kilometres of natural wonders comprising the Mt Cook National Park, with its distance between Christchurch and Queenstown being almost equal.
The Mount Cook Village settlement, also known as the Hermitage, is the tourist centre and base camp for the mountain. It is situated 12km south of the Mt Cook summit and is 7km from the end of the Tasman Glacier. From here you can explore the many wonderful features of this magnificent mountain. The range of activities in and around Mt Cook includes; Scenic Flights, Helicopter Tours and Heli Skiing.
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