New Zealand's tallest peak, Mt Cook, forms the focal point of Mount Cook National Park in the South Island's mountainous central region.
The 3,754-metre Mount Cook, or Aoraki to give it its Maori name, and the surrounding mountains in the Southern Alps were where Sir Edmund Hillary honed his skills as a mountaineer before conquering Everest in 1953.
The mountain is sacred to the Maori and much of it is permanently covered in snow and ice. Some pleasant bush walks can be done in the foothills, while tramping along well-marked trails and through glacier fields is possible at higher altitudes.
Scenic flights and heli-skiing are other popular options.