The Mackenzie region is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. One way to completely immerse yourself in these beautiful landscapes and explore the wilderness is grab a pack and lace up your walking boots.
When it comes to trekking, walking, tramping and hiking, the Mackenzie region has something for everyone – from easy half hour walks along well-formed paths, to alpine hikes that can last days and take you into the vast wilderness of the Southern Alps. For the particularly hardy adventurer there is even mountain climbing on Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, and the same peak that Sir Edmund Hillary practised on before his successful ascent of Everest.
Short walks and hikes for all levels of fitness are plentiful and easy to find in the Mackenzie region. Varying from 30 minutes to a few hours these walks offer the best way to experience first-hand the wonders of the region.
Below are a selection of short walks:
Climbing in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a popular activity and hundreds of climbers enjoy the Southern Alps each year.
Participants need to be extremely fit and experienced in snow travel and the use of mountain climbing equipment such as ice axes and crampons and techniques such as fixed rope belaying. If you are unsure about any of these things, it is wise to hire a guide.
Mountaineering courses are available for beginning climbers through to advanced climbers who want to hone their skills. Contact local guiding companies such as Alpine Recreation and Alpine Guides for more information.
One of the most popular alpine adventures in the National Park is the Ball Pass Crossing, which is a demanding two to three-day route that crosses the Mount Cook range between the Hooker and Tasman Valleys.
Please contact the Department of Conservation for further information about climbing in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, or contact one of the guiding companies listed in the business listings below.
The climate in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and surrounding areas can be very changeable, and it is always wise to prepare yourself for bad weather, no matter what the weather forecast predicts. For longer walks or tramps always register your intentions at the nearest Department of Conservation (DOC) office, so that someone knows where you are going and when you expect to return.