Mountain Activities in New Zealand

Two areas on the South Isaland of New Zealand are covered. They are the town of Wanaka and the Mt Cook Village. These two areas are popular starting points for mountain activities.


Wanaka is located in New Zealand's Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Approximately five hours south of Christchurch or one hour north of Queenstown, Wanaka is just a short drive away from Treble Cone, Cardrona, Snow Park or Mount Aspiring National Park. Whether you drive or fly, you will be rewarded with stunning views.Skiing can be fun in New Zealand

Facilities are very good in Wanaka. There are many shops and requirements for outdoor equipment are easily met. There are also a number of guiding companies in town offering services in the area.

During the winter months many people come to Wanaka for the downhill skiing available at Treble Cone and Cardrona. Heli-skiing is also available in the right conditions. Ski-touring and Ice climbing is available to the more adventurous.

Wanaka can be reached by air from Christchurch. Domestic and Australian originating flights also service Queenstown. Bus services from Christchurch and Queens town are available.

For accommodation a visitor is spoilt for choice.

See the links for two trip report of ski touring and ice climbing trips I complete one winter.

Mount Cook Village

Mount Cook village is also located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand below the Hooker and Mueller Glaciers. Twelve kilometers to the north is Aoraki/Mount Cook. The village is within the boadaries of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. By road it is 325km from Christchurch and the journey time is approximately three hours.

The facilities are very limited in the village. The amin business is the Hermitige Hotel. Some very basic suppies are available but it is best to stock up in Twizle before you turn onto the Mount Cook Road. For any re-stocking a trip to Twizel will be neccessary.

Mount Cook village attracts many tourists and mountaineers with their eyes set on the many peaks in the area. Activities in the area include hiking, mountain biking, mountaneering and scenic flights. Most visitors only come for sight seeing and are often denied a view of Mout Cook. This is because the close proximity of the ocean ensures that most days the mountain is obscured by cloud.

Accomodation is limited in the Village. The Nermaitage offer tthe greatest range of accomodation options. There is a campground and a couple of climbing club huts. The largest of these is the Unwin Hut which lies just outside the National Park. It offer the best option for mountaineers.

A popular destiantion from Mount Cook Village is the Upper Tasman Valley. There are two huts that provide convenient and comfortable accomodation in the area. The Upper Tasman trip report provides some details of the aread.