Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook is a national park near the town of Twizel in New Zealand. In October 1953 the territory was declared a national park. The park covers just over 700 km2. Glaciers occupy 40% of the park's territory, in particular the Tasman Glacier on the slope of Mount Cook (3754 m). Of the 20 New Zealand mountains whose height exceeds 3000 m, only Aspiring lies outside the park. The park is part of the Te Wahipounamu area, which is listed as a World Heritage Site for Outstanding Natural Value.

Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook Park is especially popular with those who enjoy rock climbing, as the park's mountains are great for training. But for those who prefer to contemplate the beauty of nature, this reserve will be very interesting. One of the attractions of Mount Cook Park is the Tasman Glacier. The Tasman Glacier, named after the Dutch navigator, has been melting for 20 thousand years. The Tasman River flowing from this glacier rushes first into a mountain valley, and then winds into Lake Pukaki. The icy river, coming from the Tasman glacier, between the Cook and Bruna ridges, extends for 30 km and reaches a width of 2-3 km. It is very popular among tourists and skiers. According to New Zealanders, this is the longest ski slope in the world.

Hermitage, the country's most famous mountain resort and tourist base, is located at the foot of Mount Cook. Climbers love to come here. One of the famous modern climbers, New Zealander Edmund Hillary, began training in these parts (Hillary and Tensing were the first to climb Everest in May 1953). Mount Cook is clearly visible from Hermitage. You can take a closer look at the mountain using a telescope installed on a pedestal next to the Hermitage hotel. You can also fly on a light plane of a special airline, which from a small airfield delivers tourists and skiers to the glaciers. Or fly around Mount Cook and other peaks.

Mount Cook National Park

Flora and fauna of Mount Cook Park

In addition to beautiful mountains and glaciers, tourists can expect unique flora and fauna. At a height of 900 meters, edelweiss grows, below are violets, forget-me-nots, and primroses. In Mount Cook Park you can find a unique "Mount Cook lily" - a large buttercup. Among the living creatures you can find the Himalayan tahr, chamois, and red deer, which acclimatized here at the beginning of the 20th century. Hunting is allowed for some animal species. Wonderful alpine meadows overgrown with herbs and beautiful flowers, amazing lakes, and views from the mountain make a walk through Mount Cook Park unforgettable.

The Legend of Mount Cook

Locals have a beautiful legend about Aoraki (Mount Cook) in New Zealand. Aoraki and his three brothers were sons of Father Sky. Their father liked an earthly woman and went to her. His first wife cried day and night, and then the brothers decided to bring their father back, got into a magic canoe and sailed through the heavens to earth. They saw there that Father Sky loved his new wife very much, and decided to return to their mother. But they were caught in a terrible storm, the canoe capsized, and they found themselves in the water. There was no help, their hair turned white, their bodies turned to stone, and they turned into mighty mountains. Aoraki's elder brother became the highest of all mountains - Mount Cook, and his brothers stood nearby, a little shorter.

Cook and Tasman are some of the most popular names in New Zealand. The islands called New Zealand were inhabited in the 10th-14th centuries by Polynesians. The Dutchman Abel Janszoon Tasman discovered them in 1642 for Europeans. The first words spoken about New Zealand by a European were: “A large mountainous land.” The Englishman James Cook explored the islands in the second half of the 18th century and opened them in 1769 for the second time to Europeans and, following secret instructions from the English Admiralty, declared New Zealand the possession of the English Queen. But the British began to populate the territory in 1840.

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Mount Cook National Park - geographical coordinates
Latitude: -43.736667
Longitude: 170.098056


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