The Mackenzie Region has always attracted adventurers, from the earliest Māori hunters who named its landmarks, to rogue rustler James Mckenzie, to Sir Edmund Hillary, the most famous of our explorers, who prepared here to face Everest.
You too can find your adventure in this rugged, beautiful landscape. Here are our top tips to start your journey into a spectacular winter wonderland.
1. Snowshoe the Southern Alps
Start off with a thrilling helicopter flight that lands you on a beautiful snowy mountain, then strap on your snowshoes and take a walk to remember. Heli snowshoeing is an adventure with no previous experience required and is a special way to explore a remote part of the country you’d otherwise never reach. The stunning views of Aoraki Mount Cook and the Southern Alps will leave you feeling awestruck.
2. Gaze on Other Worlds
EARTH & SKY, LAKE TEKAPO, NEW ZEALAND. CONTACT 03 680 69 60 FOR BOOKINGS. This photo captures the milkyway and one of the domes at Mt. John Observatory University of Canterbury. This photo was taken by Earth & Sky photographer Igor Hoogerwerf. #earthandskynz #nzmustdo #canterburynz #laketekapo #love #stargazing #astronomy #newzealand #tekapostargazing #观星 #特卡波湖 #蒂卡波湖 #新西兰 #觀星 #星空
The Mackenzie Region is the Southern Hemisphere’s only International Dark Sky Reserve and a stargazing experience here is a must-do. Be enthralled by some of the clearest, darkest skies in the world. It’s very humbling to look deep into the cosmos and it fills you with wonder about our amazing and mysterious universe.
3. Soar Among the Peaks
A scenic flight in the Southern Alps is a truly unforgettable experience. Not only does it reveal the immense scale of this rugged environment, but the eye-level views you’ll get of the towering peaks can otherwise only be seen by experienced mountaineers. Especially unique is a helicopter/ski plane combo flight; you get to try out both ways of flying, and it gets even better when you land on New Zealand’s longest glacier.
4. Travel a Forgotten Road
Believe it or not, cars and coaches once travelled the abandoned Ball Road, shuttling visitors back and forth to a ski field that operated on the Ball Glacier. Those days are long past, and the recession of the Tasman Glacier has left the historic road a crumbling ruin. It’s still passable on foot (6-8 hours return to Ball Hut), or if you’d like a more informative (and faster!) tour, by 4WD vehicle. Learn about the history of the region and its incredible landscape and get amazing views of the peaks and Tasman Glacier from atop the moraine wall.
5. Step into a Winter Wonderland
Enter: Mt Cook, Hooker Valley Track in winter. . . This place is incredible and really made me feel as if I was in winter wonderland! . . Check out my new BLOG POST & VIDEO using the link in my bio for more awesome shots and beauty 🙌🏼. . . . @purenewzealand @ig.newzealand #travelstoke #mountainshots #swingbridge #aoraki #mtcook #hookervalley #wildernessculture #adventureculture #letsgetlost #adventurevisuals #visualsoflife #getoutstayout #outdoorculture #adventurethatislife #lifewelltravelled #newzealand #kiwi_photos #tourtheplanet #winterwonderland #foreverwandering #travelingram #vsco #travelphotography #newzealandvacations #solotravel #dayhike #hikingadventures
The Hooker Valley Track is one of the most famous day walks in New Zealand, and it’s stunning year-round. But when winter blankets the landscape in snow, the track transforms into something extra special. Experience the hush of the wintry valley with only the rush of the river and the crunch of your footsteps to break the silence. Bonus: this popular walk is at its busiest in summer, but in winter it’s possible to have it all to yourself.
Wondering where to stay? Check out this great local accommodation: