263km (163 miles) NE of Queenstown; 331km (205 miles) SW of Christchurch
Mount Cook Village is known throughout the world for its alpine beauty and remoteness. It sits within the 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) of Mount Cook National Park, some 753m (2,470 ft.) above sea level and surrounded by 140 peaks over 2,100m (6,888 ft.) high, 22 of which are over 3,000m (9,840 ft.). Most famous of all is Aoraki-Mount Cook, which rises 3,695m (12,120 ft.) into the sky. Aoraki means "cloud piercer" in Maori. A third of the park is permanent snow and ice, and the Tasman Glacier, at 29km (18 miles) long and 3km (2 miles) wide, is the longest known glacier outside arctic regions. More difficult to get onto than Fox or Franz Josef glaciers, it's still accessible for exhilarating downhill skiing.