Aoraki or Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Its height since 2014 is listed as 3,724 metres (12,218 feet), down from 3,764m (12,349 ft) before December 1991, due to a rockslide and subsequent erosion. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island.
At the foot of the mountain sits the village of Mount Cook - a comfortable haven in one of the most unforgiving parts of New Zealand. On every side, the Southern Alps scrape the sky. Even in summer, the weather can change in the blink of an eye. The region is only 44 kilometres from the coast, so storms can arrive suddenly from the Tasman Sea to create dangerous conditions for climbers. Despite the sometimes difficult conditions, Mount Cook National Park is an exceptionally beautiful place to visit. You don’t have to be a mountaineer to interact with the stunning scenery; there are various alpine walks beginning near the village, all about three hours return. Flightseeing, tours to the Tasman Glacier and stargazing are other ways to optimise your time here.