Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie is the highest mountain in New Zealand, standing 3,724 metres (12.218 fts.) It used to be the world’s 37th most prominent mountain standing. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range that runs the length of the South Island. A popular tourist destination. This area is prominent for its incredibly clear starry nights, brilliant sunny days, remarkable turquoise blue lakes, valleys of emerald green, snow-capped mountains and favourite place for mountain climbers.
Climate of Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie
This region enjoys a wonderful climate with clear, crispy snowy winters, and long hot summers. It recieves substantial orographic precipitation through out the year, as breezy, moisturiser- laden westerly winds dominate all year round, bring rainclouds from the Tasman Sea with them.
Autumn is the riot of colour, while spring brings wild flowers blooming throughout the regions. The warm summer season extends from November to February, where the mercury often rises past 30 degree Celsius. In the cold winter season, from June to September temperatures drop to below 0 degree Celsius overnight, while sunny winter days, average around 8 degree Celsius.
The regions have numerous airports gateways. New Zealand international airports are located in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Queenstown. Christchurch and Queenstown are closest to the Mackenzie region. Charter planes are available to the 4 Mackenzie based airports located at Glentanner, Aoraki / Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki, and Lake Tekapo.
The Cook Connection has shuttle service to Twizel and Lake Tekapo. Bus services in these towns are link on to major centres such as Christchurch, Queenstown, Wanaka, and Dunedin.
If you’re driving there, New Zealand is a nice place to drive but visitor should be aware of the New Zealand road rules. As well as the obvious ones, such as driving on the left side of the road, they have some more unusual ones. It’s best to fill up at Lake Tekapo or Twizel. There is petrol at Mount cook, but it is expensive and usually involves summoning an attendant from the Hermitage.
Driving times and distances
- 30 minutes Fairlie – Lake Tekapo
- 40 minutes Lake Tekapo – Twizel
- 45 minutes Aoraki / Mount Cook – Twizel
- 1 hour 15 minutes Lake Tekapo- Aoraki / Mount Cook