Day trips in the Mackenzie Region
Some of the best day trips from Christchurch into the Mount Cook Mackenzie area include magnificent turquoise lakes and towering mountains.
Boasting some of the most dazzling night skies in the world, Lake Tekapo draws visitors from all over. You’ll be amazed at what you can see with the naked eye – it’s not for nothing that Tekapo is part of an international Dark Sky Reserve, the largest of its type anywhere in the world. Come in winter and you might catch the Aurora Australis. There’s an observatory atop Mt John overlooking the lake and day and night tours of the observatory are available.
Lake TekapoLake Tekapo, New Zealand
The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail has helped the Mackenzie region's reputation for cycling and mountain biking to expand quickly. This trail begins in the Southern Alps, descends through farmland from Aoraki/Mt Cook, and continues approximately 300 kilometers to Oamaru on the east coast, showcasing some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery. The trail is divided into eight sections; you can ride as few or as many as you choose; the entire trail takes roughly six days to complete. The Ohau mountain ranges, Lake Pukaki, Maori rock art, and the so-called Elephant Rocks are among the highlights.
Mackenzie DistrictMackenzie District, Canterbury, New Zealand
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
This national park, which includes New Zealand's tallest mountain (Aoraki Mt Cook) and longest glacier (Tasman Glacier), is a veritable outdoor playground. It contains some of Australasia's best mountaineering, but there are also a number of easy alpine walks for the less adventurous. It's all part of the fun to keep a look out for kea, the famously mischievous mountain parrot. Are you coming in the spring or summer? Look for the Mt Cook lily, the world's largest buttercup.
Mt Cook town, located at the foot of the mountain and next to the beautiful Lake Pukaki, is the beginning place for exploration. If you take a scenic trip over the snowy peaks, you'll be treated to breathtaking sights. Boating, heli-hiking, and even skiing are all options for encounters with the massive Tasman glacier.
Aoraki/Mount Cook National ParkAoraki/Mount Cook National Park, Canterbury, New Zealand
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