Aoraki Mt Cook and Mackenzie

Located in the centre of the South Island, the Mackenzie District is a 90 minute spectacular scenic drive from Wānaka. Pristine snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and a network of powder blue canals form the tapestry of this remarkable region.

At its heart towers New Zealand’s highest mountain peak, the majestic Aoraki Mt Cook. And as part of your South Island inland touring route, the magnificent peak can be seen from many picturesque stops on the road. In fact, one of the optimum photo points is from Lake Pukaki on the Tekapo to Wānaka route.

When it comes to walking, tramping, hiking, and sightseeing in Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, there is something for everyone, with a landscape of glaciers, mountain streams, icebergs and glacial lakes.

Choose from easy half hour walks along formed paths, to multi-day alpine hikes that take you into the vast wilderness of the Southern Alps.

From stargazing to scenic mountain flights and glacier lake boat trips, snow sports, hiking, fishing and horse treks are popular local activities. Visit Mt John Observatory near Tekapo to see the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve and the millions of stars in the Southern Hemisphere or take an epic star shot at the Church of the Good Shepherd, a popular tourist spot for photography.

Mt Hutt Ski Resort and the quaint village of Methven at the top of the Mackenzie country provide fantastic skiing and snowboarding, plus a range of outdoor activities year-round such as hunting, fishing, hot air ballooning and hiking.

Enjoy favourite Kiwi cuisine at a country pub, find international fare or a takeaway spread of local fish ‘n’ chips. Visit the Salmon Farm near Twizel and try fresh salmon straight from the source.

From lakeside retreats with mountain views, to backpacker accommodation at Mt Cook there’s a great range of options to suit every budget.

Visit the official MacKenzie website

Click links below to check out availability and make online bookings for MacKenzie accommodation and activities:

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Driving to Wanaka Explore the Region

Driving to Wānaka

Driving on the South Island roads of New Zealand is a great way to experience the region, with relatively quiet roads and some of the most amazing scenery right outside the window.

Major car and campervan hire companies are all located at Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown airports. There are also a number of rental car companies based in Wānaka.

How to get to Wānaka

Explore the Region

Wānaka is unique and captivating; it inspires you to discover, and gives you the freedom to explore.

Located in the stunning alps of the South Island, New Zealand, visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wānaka region by its outstanding beauty.

Explore Wānaka

  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Christchurch 5 h 14 min
  3. Ashburton 3 h 56 min
  4. Geraldine 3 h 19 min
  5. Tekapo 2 h 17 min
  6. Mt Cook 2 h 6 min
  7. Twizel 1 h 39 min
  8. Omarama 1 h 21 min
  9. Franz Josef 3 h 32 min
  10. Fox Glacier 3 h 6 min
  11. Haast 1 h 43 min
  12. Cromwell 39 min
  13. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  14. Milford Sound 4 h 34 min
  15. Te Anau 2 h 52 min
  16. Dunedin 2 h 52 min
  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Coronet Peak
  3. The Remarkables
  4. Cardrona
  5. Treble Cone
  6. Snow Farm
  7. Heli Skiing
  8. Heli Skiing
  9. Makarora 50 min
  10. Lake Hawea 1 h 7 min
  11. Wanaka Airport 11 min
  12. Luggate 13 min
  13. Tarras 27 min
  14. Cromwell 39 min
  15. Arrowtown 53 min
  16. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  17. Queenstown Airport 59 min
  18. Matukituki Valley 51 min
  19. Raspberry Creek 1 h 6 min

Flights to Wānaka

Getting to Wānaka is easy - click on your city to see how close you are to Wānaka. It’s a short, scenic 60-minute drive to Wānaka from the closest international airport, where you will find all major rental car companies and scheduled bus services that provide transport to Wānaka throughout the day.

How to get to Wanaka