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Aoraki, Mt Cook , New Zealand a 70,696 hectare park is located in the central part of the South Island, deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. Aoraki Mount Cook village lies within the park with Twizel the nearest town outside

Aoraki/Mount Cook (70,696 hectares) is New Zealand's great alpine park. It has the highest mountains and the largest glaciers. Aoraki/Mount Cook village and all visitors to the park are dwarfed by the immensity of the landscape that surrounds them.

Aoraki/Mount Cook was formally established as a national park in 1953 from reserves that were established as early as 1887 to protect the area’s significant vegetation and landscape.

The park is a harsh land of ice and rock. Glaciers cover 40% of it. There are 19 peaks over 3,000 metres including New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook. The park is also part of Te Waipounamu - South Westland World Heritage Area in recognition of its outstanding natural values.

The glaciers that have helped shape the park's landscape include five major valley systems: Godley, Murchison, Tasman, Hooker and Mueller. The Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's largest and longest glacier, is clearly visible from the main highway at the entrance of the park. Its 27 km long, up to three km wide and 101 sq km. Although covered with rock material in its lower reaches, the ice of the Tasman is about 600 metres deep near the Hochstetter Icefall

Location
This park is located in the central part of the South Island, deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. Aoraki/Mount Cook village lies within the park with Twizel the nearest town outside.

- www.backcountrynz.com