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Thrifty ToursAoraki Mt. Cook Explorer

The Christchurch to Queenstown journey takes you from the incredibly flat Canterbury Plains right through to the dramatic mountains in the Southern Alps.  The area is out of this world beautiful with many rushing through the country en route to Christchurch or Queenstown. This tour gives you the opportunity to absorb the areas beauty.  Starting in Christchurch you'll travel with GreatSights into the heart of the Mt Cook National Park. After a full day of exploration hop on board the coach to Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital. 

 New Zealand independent tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Queenstown
 3 days/ 2 nights
 Motels
  Customisable? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 9 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
The Remarkables New Zealand
Tekapo New Zealand

At a glance - Aoraki Mt. Cook Explorer

Day 1: Head south of the Christchurch plains to the Mt Cook National Park. Accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Day 2: Explore the glaciers or fly above the peaks before enjoying a buffet dinner at the Hermitage Alpine Restaurant. Accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Day 3: Travel on to the Remarkable Queenstown, New Zealands adventure capital.

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Aoraki Mt. Cook Explorer - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Head south of the Christchurch plains to the Mt Cook National Park

Aoraki Mt. Cook Explorer - Day 1

Christchurch to Mount Cook with GreatSights (Includes Lunch)

Depart Christchurch in the morning and travel through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain. Along the way your driver guide will keep you entertained and informed with commentary on the area's history and sites of interest. The tour concludes on arrival at Mount Cook Village, where you can explore and soak up the views of Aoraki / Mount Cook as it towers above. Includes lunch at the Hermitage Hotel. Please note there are no food or shops at Mount Cook you will need to stock up prior to arriving in Mount Cook if you wish to self cater.

Your Accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Mt Cook Lodge and Motel is located in the centre of Mt. Cook village. The self-contained units are spacious and all are surrounded by alpine mountain views. If you don’t feel like cooking either visit the Chamois Bar and Grill onsite or take the courtesy shuttle to Hermitage Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Day 2: Explore the glaciers or fly above the peaks before enjoying a buffet dinner at the Hermitage Alpine Restaurant

Aoraki Mt. Cook Explorer - Day 2

Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park

At 3754 metres Aoraki-Mt. Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, located deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. From the Visitor Centre at the southern end of Lake Pukaki, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of this immense peak. As well as its impressive beauty, Mt. Cook National Park is also home to a huge range of awe-inspiring sights and activities. Take to the air with Mt. Cook Ski Planes for a scenic flight that includes a glacier landing. At around 27 kilometres long the Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest and a Glacier Explorers tour will give you the opportunity to see its unique features.

There are many short hikes in and around the park and these are well signposted. For a fascinating guided tour the Mt. Cook Encounter Guided Walk is a must-do and those with an interest in the night sky should take a stargazing tour of the Mt. John Observatory. The region is considered to have one of the clearest night skies in the world and is one of the few gold-rated dark sky reserves worldwide.

The Hermitage Hotel complex offers fine dining, multiple cafes and a bar. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre for insight into this region's mountain climbing history. You'll also learn of Sir Ed's incredible achievements and his dedication to helping others around the world.

Tasman Valley 4WD Tour

A rugged back road 4WD adventure accessing awe inspiring views over the Tasman Glacier and its gigantic moraine wall. You will get to stop at several vantage points and have the opportunity to walk up to the top of the Tasman Glacier moraine wall to view some of the most spectacular photographic opportunities within the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Your professional guide has a wealth of knowledge of the Aoraki/Mt Cook area. Learn about the area, its unique geology, local flora and fauna and get an entertaining insight into the rich pioneering history and stories of the past 150 years.

Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorer Pass

A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary - humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers - the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people within a comprehensive museum as well as a 126-seat custom-designed theatre and Digital Dome Planetarium.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Alpine Explorer Heli Flight and Snow Landing with The Helicopter Line

Experience this magnificent alpine environment with a 35 minute flight over the Ben Ohau Mountains. Fly close to the steep ridges and rise over a mountain pass which reveals superb views out to Aoraki/Mount Cook and its surrounding peaks. Prepare yourself for an amazing alpine landing where you will be able to step out of the helicopter and play in the snow. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Enjoy a glacier experience that is unique in New Zealand and one of only three in the world. Get up and close and personal with icebergs, on a glacial terminal lake.

It is extremely rare for a glacier to terminate into a lake and rarer still to find one that is accessible to visitors. Join your group on our boat for an intimate encounter with a glacier -- see massive icebergs and soaring ice cliffs. You'll experience seldom seen and inaccessible parts of New Zealand's largest glacier in a safe way aboard your boat. Few people can say they have seen, touched and tasted 500 year old ice. Now you will be one of them!

Tours depart from Mount Cook Village outside The Hermitage Hotel, where you'll board a small bus for an enjoyable trip to the Tasman Valley. This is followed by a relaxing 30 minute stroll through the National Park to your waiting MAC boat. Now it’s time to witness the changing ice face of the Tasman Glacier and the icebergs it spawns on the Tasman Glacier Lake. Throughout your 2.5 hour trip (45 min to 1 hour on the lake) your experienced guide offers an informative and entertaining commentary that ensures you don't miss a thing.

Your Accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Mt Cook Lodge and Motel is located in the centre of Mt. Cook village. The self-contained units are spacious and all are surrounded by alpine mountain views. If you don’t feel like cooking either visit the Chamois Bar and Grill onsite or take the courtesy shuttle to Hermitage Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Day 3: Travel on to the Remarkable Queenstown, New Zealands adventure capital

Aoraki Mt. Cook Explorer - Day 3

Mount Cook to Queenstown with GreatSights

Depart Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park in the afternoon and head south through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route enjoy a stop in the quaint village of Omarama. Crossing the Lindis Pass this is one of New Zealand's highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres, you pass from the Mackenzie Basin and into Central Otago. Approaching Queenstown the impressive Remarkables mountain range come into view and then beautiful Lake Wakatipu as you head towards the adventure and activity capital of New Zealand. Tour concludes this evening on arrival into Queenstown.

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