Mount Cook Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Mount Cook National Park
Over one third of the park is made
up of permanent snow and glacier ice and dominating the landscape
is the majestic peak of Mount Cook (Aoraki- the cloud piercer) at
3754m. Mount Cook village provides visitor facilities and has a small
airport. Scenic flights around Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier are
available with some involving glacier landings.
The Ski plane landing technique
was pioneered in this area during the 1950ís and is now used to access
the Tasman Glacier for both sightseeing and Glacier Skiing, the Tasman
having 27 kms of ski-able terrain.
Other activities in the area include glacier lake exploring, fishing,
mountain biking, four wheel drive safaris and horse trekking and of
Access to the village is from Highway 8, 11 km north of Twizel and
is 55km from that turnoff. and the road follows the shore of scenic
Lake Pukaki most of the way.
One of the most popular activities in the park is walking the trails
that are set amongst some of New Zealandís most stunning mountain
scenery. The trails vary in length and in the level of physical fitness
required, with something to suit most walkers.
This picturesque lake extends nearly
20 km from the road towards the Southern Alps and is fed by the Godley
River that starts at the Godley Glacier. The water from Lake Tekapo
passes through two power stations on its way to Lake Pukaki where
the waters from both join the Waitaki River Power Scheme. The Lake
itself is situated at an altitude of 710m. A much-used image of the
area is of the lakeside stone chapel named The Church of the Good
Shepherd. Other features of the area are the nearby ski fields, and
the Mt John Observatory located here because of the absence of lighting
and the often-clear night sky. On the southern side of the lake beyond
Mount John are the bird sanctuaries at Lakes McGregor and Alexandrina.
At Lake Tekapo there is a small retail area that includes a petrol
station, general store, bakery, a couple of gift shops and some dining