Flying over Mount Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain, was an unexpected bonus on an already spectacular helicopter flight. While driving up the rugged west coast of New Zealand’s South Island we stopped in the Fox Valley. Many years earlier, when the girls were really young, we had visited and after leaving made a decision that if we ever returned, we would take a helicopter tour and walk on Fox Glacier.
This was our chance. There were many packages to choose from, and we opted for a mid-priced adventure to both Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, which included the walk. However, the only other couple in the office wanted to see Mount Cook, so the four of us were upgraded to the top package. I am pleased to say, I really enjoyed the ride, much more than I tend to enjoy small planes. Hubby and the girls loved it too.
A Few Aoraki/Mount Cook Facts:
- It is New Zealand’s tallest mountain.
- It’s highest point is 3,754 metres.
- It is part of Te Wahipounamu (Maori meaning “the place of greenstone”), a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1990 and covers 26,000 km², including several New Zealand National Parks.
- There are 72 named glaciers on Mount Cook.
- Mount Cook is called Aoraki in Maori, the language of New Zealand’s indigenous people.
Here is what we saw from the air:
I found I lost a bit of perspective from the air. It was difficult to be sure just how large this mountain really is. Then the pilot pointed out two cabins. Look closely – there are two cabins at about one-third of the way up this photo:
Have you been to Mount Cook? What is the tallest mountain you have seen?