From beautiful turquoise lakes to towering mountains these are some of the top day trips you can take from Christchurch into the Mount Cook Mackenzie area.
Boasting some of the most dazzling night skies in the world, Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook draw visitors from all over. You’ll be amazed at what you can see with the naked eye. Come in winter and you might catch the Aurora Australis. Home to New Zealand’s tallest mountain (Aoraki Mt Cook) and longest glacier (Tasman Glacier), Mt Cook national park is a bona fide outdoor playground. It has some of the best mountaineering in Australasia, but a number of easy alpine walks cater to the less intrepid and The Mackenzie region’s reputation for cycling and mountain biking is growing fast.
Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is set in a forest wilderness, nestled between the turquoise blue waters of Lake Pukaki and the majestic Ben Ohau ranges. It is right on the doorstep of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park located in the beautiful and unique Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area. The Retreat is within 2-3 hours scenic drive of Wanaka or Queenstown and just 40 minutes from Lake Tekapo with 4 helipads onsite for direct flights to the Retreat.
Stop at Lake Tekapo with the township facing north across the remarkable turquoise colored lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise color from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.
With some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, The Lodge is exclusively positioned on the shores of Lake Pukaki. Glacial lakes feed into Lake Pukaki giving the water its vibrant blue color. Not to mention it's also the filming location for "Lake Town" in the Hobbiton Trilogy.
The Retreat and onsite Pukaki Observatory is perfectly located to explore one of the darkest skies in the world. This is a stellar experience and is a unique opportunity to stargaze in the gold level Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.
Take a short scenic flight from Glentanner airport up to the Tans / small natural lakes above Glentanner high country Station, Take in the amazing mountain vista, including stunning views of the Mt. Cook. With your guide walk from the Tans down the farm tracks back to Glentanner Airport. Taking in the pure fresh mountain air and breathtaking views. This trip takes about 3 hours including the Heli flight, walk, and lunch overlooking this spectacular valley. It has many photo opportunities and very exclusive experience away from any crowds.Plan Your Tour
Self-drive (or as private guided for extra charges) Tour 2 nights
Location: South Island
Departing/Finishing: Christchurch, Central Otago
Accommodation: 5* Luxury Mt Cook Lake Side Retreat DBB
Next Departure: Daily
LOCATIONS AND HIGHLIGHTS:
Day 1 Christchurch - Tekapo - Mt Cook National Park
Lake Tekapo, Chuch of Good Shepherd, Mt John observatory cafe
Stargazing at Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory
(Optional: 2 x 45 min massage, private yoga session, a cooking session with on side chef)
Day 2: Mt Cook National Park
3hr Exclusive Guided Heli Hike Glentanner high country Station
Hiking in the Mt Cook Regional park
(Optional: Glacier Kayaking or Scenic flight over Grand Traverse)
Day 3: Mt Cook National Park - Christchurch
The Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, Rakaia Gorge Walkway
(Optional: Discovery Jet at Rakaia Gorge, extra charges)