Aoraki/Mt.Cook National Park contains the highest peaks and the longest glaciers in New Zealand. 19 peaks are higher then 3 000m, glaciers spread over more than 40% of parks area(70 696 hectares). The park was established in 1953. It is part of Te Waipounamu — South Westland World Heritage Area. In the western part is Westland National Park. This park does not have any forest. Grasses are reach in alps flora.
The highest peak Mt.Cook/Aoraki (3 754m) is for Maori sacred and they do not think the mountain should be climbed. The first attempt to reach the peak did Irishman W.S. Green and two Swiss in 1882. They reached as far as 200 meters bellow the peak. The peak itself was reached by three "kiwi": Tom Fyfe, Jack Clarke and George Graham in 1894.
There are 17 huts in the park. They are mostly on hardly reach locations and to get there you have to have appropriate equipment. The main center is Mt. Cook Village. Around this center are tent short paths face into the valley with a view of the Mt. Cook. and over the Tasman Glacier. This glacier is the longest one in the country. It's length is 25 kilometers. In contrast to another glaciers Franz Josef and Fox, who have a typical white-blue color, the Tasman glacier is cover with strong layer of stones and detritus.
For experienced hikers there are three track over the Mueller, Copland and Ball Pass.
To track around the Tasman Glacier leads eight kilometers long unpaved road. But a visit of this area is for sure worthy.