MOUNT COOK, NEW ZEALAND
The Aoraki/Mt Cook region is sometimes called the Mackenzie Country—it's the high inland basin beneath the Southern Alps and Aoraki/Mt Cook, south west of Christchurch. At 3,753 meters Aoraki/Mt Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain. It towers above a splendid cast of massive snow-clad peaks that make up the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Nudging one side of Aoraki/Mt Cook is the mighty Tasman Glacier, a 30 kilometer giant and one of the longest outside the Himalayas.
Mt Cook village is an easy five hour drive from Christchurch. We recommend visitors take the route from Christchurch to Fairlie, gateway to the Mackenzie Country (the Mackenzie Country is named for Jock MacKenzie, an infamous Scottish sheep rustler). From here the road passes through a land of lakes, vast open spaces and golden, tussock-covered hills rolling towards the towering Southern Alps. On the way you will pass turquoise glacial lakes such as Lake Tekapo. The Church of the Good Shepherd sits on its shores and has a spectacular and famous view of the Southern Alps framed by its altar window