Ice maidens and men will be at home here. Glaciers cover 40 per cent of the breathtaking Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. With 19 peaks over 3000m high, the park is home to New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt Cook, (also known as Aoraki). The park is part of Te Wahipounamu - South Westland World Heritage Area - in recognition of its outstanding natural value.
The mighty Aoraki/Mt Cook stands at 3755m, the highest in Australasia. Aoraki means 'cloud piercer' in Maori. Fenced in by the Southern Alps and the Two Thumb, Liebig and Ben ohau ranges, over a third of the park is permanently covered in glacial ice and snow.
There is virtually no forest in the park. Instead the park is alive with the most wonderful alpine plants. In summer look for the striking Mt Cook buttercup and the large mountain daisies, and watch out for the fearsome wild spaniard or spear grass! The braided riverbed of the Tasman is home to the kaki/black stilt, one of New Zealand's rarest birds.