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.
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
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
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.