Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre

Top choice in Christchurch & Canterbury

Arguably the best DOC visitor centre in NZ. It not only dispatches all necessary information and advice on hiking routes and weather conditions, it also houses excellent displays on the park's natural and human history. It's a fabulous place to commune with the wilderness, even on a rainy day. Most activities can be booked here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Christchurch & Canterbury attractions

1. Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

0.08 MILES

This multimedia museum opened just three weeks before the 2008 death of the man regarded by many as the greatest New Zealander of all time, explorer and…

2. Tasman Glacier

6.78 MILES

At 27km long and up to 4km wide, the Tasman is the largest of NZ's glaciers, but it's melting fast, losing hundreds of metres of length each year. It is…

3. Fox Glacier Lookout

16.26 MILES

On a clear day, this is one of the best land-based positions from which to see Fox Glacier (though its retreat may mean you see just a snippet).

4. Lake Matheson

21.32 MILES

On a good day, the famous 'mirror lake' reflects extraordinary views of distant Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman in its forest-shaded waters. The best time to…

5. Peak Viewpoint

21.45 MILES

It's a very long way from the actual glacier, but this parking area provides a surprisingly good view over fields to Fox Glacier (weather permitting)…

6. Sentinel Rock

21.6 MILES

Survey the skies before embarking on the short, steep walk to the top of Sentinel Rock: the lookout reveals either impressive views of the glacier valley,…

7. Peters Pool

21.98 MILES

Formed by centuries of glacial meltwater, this dainty kettle lake girded by native rainforest is an easy 1km-return walk from the main glacier car park…

8. West Coast Wildlife Centre

24.28 MILES

The purpose of this feel-good attraction is breeding two of the world's rarest kiwi – the rowi and the Haast tokoeka. As well as a chance to hang out with…