MacKenzie – high country like no other

MountcookIncredibly clear starry nights, brilliant sunny days, remarkable turquoise blue lakes, valleys of emerald green, snow-capped mountains and glaciers contribute to a truly breathtaking experience.

The Mackenzie Country is a high inland basin beneath the Southern Alps and Mount Cook, south west of Christchurch.

The awesome snow-capped Southern Alps stretch across the western horizon, Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain at 3,754 metres above sea level, towers over the expansive countryside and magnificent glaciers lie hidden in the mountains. 

Flight-see over the mountains to discover magnificent glaciers including Tasman Glacier which, at 27 kilometres in length, is one of the longest glaciers in the world to be found outside the polar regions. 

Cross-country and downhill skiing, guided climbing, hiking, horse riding, camping and mountain biking are just a few of the options for those who wish to take in some alpine air.

laketekapoMelting snow from the glaciers and mountain peaks gives the lakes their distinctive turquoise blue colour.  Lake Tekapo lies in the centre of the region and it is here that the hydro electric canals begin to channel the water into electricity for New Zealand and provide fresh water for salmon farming. 

Wide open spaces and a very small population contribute to a tranquility that is a feature of life in the Mackenzie Country and is a welcome inspiration to anyone who wishes to relax here - thousands of feet above worry level!

Whether you are looking for a relaxing walk in native forest, a more demanding hike into alpine wilderness, or simply a quiet place to sit and enjoy the view, the MacKenzie region has it all.  There is something for everyone - from easy half hour strolls along formed paths to hikes that can last days and take you into the vast alpine wilderness of the Southern Alps. 

For the particularly hardy adventurer there is even mountain climbing on Mount Cook - the same peak that Sir Edmund Hillary "practised" on before his successful ascent of Everest.

kayakingmountcookWant to know more about the MacKenzie region?  Visit

Images provided by MacKenzie Tourism