On this full-day Mount Cook Scenic Tour from Queenstown (12 hours) you will experience the unique alpine landscapes as you travel with us from Queenstown through Mackenzie Country and into Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, with free time in Mount Cook Village to enjoy local walks or activities.
Your Adventure Begins
Start your day by meeting our friendly local guide at or near your Queenstown accommodation. You’ll travel in style in a premium Mercedes van designed for touring with only 16 seats onboard. As we depart Queenstown, the first leg of our journey takes us through the Central Otago wine regions of Gibbston and Cromwell. We then cross the dramatic Lindis Pass before making a brief stop in Omarama for refreshments and an opportunity to purchase lunch (highly recommended for those planning to hike, Heli Hike, or join the Glacier Explorers experience).
Welcome to Mackenzie Country
The scenery transforms as we enter Mackenzie Country, and our guide will entertain you with stories and interesting facts as we trace the edge of the Southern Alps. Along the way, we’ll pass a network of lakes and canals near Twizel, renowned for its fishing of fresh Mt Cook Alpine salmon. Once we veer off the main road, we’ll follow the bright blue waters of Lake Pukaki before arriving at Mt Cook Village.
Mount Cook Adventure
Welcome to Mt Cook! Arriving at approximately 12 p.m., you’ll have around 3.5 hours to explore at your leisure.
The Journey Back
At approximately 3:30pm, rejoin our guide and van to start the return journey to Queenstown. Sit back, relax, and take in the views. This day tour spans approximately 12 hours, and our smaller vehicles and attentive guide ensure your comfort and entertainment throughout the journey.
Please note: activities are an additional cost and options can vary depending on availability, weather, and season. The walking trails are self-guided, your guide will ensure you are dropped to the right location and share with you tips to ensure you have the best experience.
For those wishing to join an activity in Mt Cook Village, you can add on select activities at the time of booking or book one of our Mt Cook Combos.
Our Mercedes vans are fully equipped with complimentary wifi and panoramic windows for superior viewing so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.
The full day trip takes approximately 12 hours from Queenstown. This allows us to make plenty of stops enroute to ensure you enjoy the journey as well as getting to spend a few hours in Mt Cook doing sightseeing, walking or an activity of choice.
A scenic flight or glacier heli hike are incredible activities to see the stunning mountains and glaciers from the air. These activities must be pre booked.
Yes! Two of the most popular walks are the Hooker Valley Track and the Tasman Glacier lookout, both great options for things to do on your Mt Cook day trip. Please note these are self guided!
Our minimum numbers are 4pax and maximum numbers are 16pax.
There is no minimum age for this tour, it’s a great day out for older kids seeing the beautiful scenery! It is of course a long day of travel which can be challenging for babies, and young children.
En route we will stop at a cafe, and in Mt Cook, there are some dining options.
If you plan to do a hike or an activity longer than 1 hour, you should bring food with you from Queenstown, or there is opportunity to purchase this on the drive to Mt Cook.
We don’t want to give too much away! The drive from Queenstown to Mt Cook is stunning and there are plenty of scenic stops enroute, your guide knows the best spots and will choose these on the day.
Yes! You’ll need to do one of the scenic flights, boats or walks to see the glacial lakes with icebergs.
We pick up from select Queenstown hotels and the main bus stop routes in Queenstown town centre and along Frankton Road. When booking, type in your accommodation and it will suggest the closest bus stop. If it doesn’t come up just check in with us and we’ll let you know where is closest for you!
As this is a weather dependent tour, if there is risk of adverse weather conditions that will impact the operation of the tour, you will be contacted the day prior to your trip to explore alternative options.
Due to this being one of our most popular tours and wanting to be fair to all who join us we do not offer reserved seating. If you have a request we will do our best to accommodate but we cannot guarantee.
Whether you are walking, sightseeing, taking a scenic flight, Heli Hike, or just exploring the village, Mount Cook is an alpine environment so it is important to bring warm clothes, a rain jacket, and comfortable shoes for walking (waterproof shoes are recommended for those doing a walk).
If you are planning to do a Heli Hike, please do not wear denim/jeans.
Activities are an additional cost and weather dependent. Minimum numbers apply.
Mt Cook Ski Planes
Scenic Helicopter Flights
Heli Hike on Tasman Glacier