Aoraki Mount Cook and the surrounding national park is one of NZ's most amazing landscape locations, and one of the best things about capturing NZ's tallest peak Aoraki 'cloud piercer' is that it has so many amazing vantage points from around the park. If there's one place in NZ you should consider taking a scenic flight it's here, to fully appreciate the scale and how all the different peaks and glaciers connect on this stretch of the Southern Alps.
My favourite views are from Tasman Glacier or Hooker Valley, both of which are hikes within easy reach for travellers. To get the best light and conditions, Hooker Valley works best at sunset when the last light of the day kisses the peak of Mt Cook but you need to be prepared to walk back in the dark with possums for company! Tasman Glacier is best viewed at dawn to see the first light caress the other side of the peak and to watch the icebergs floating silently on the lake. If you're lucky you might hear or see kea flying around the valleys, and it's pretty common to hear an avalanche or two as well. Two more elevated views of the park can be found at Red Tarns (about 45 minutes climb) or Sealy Tarns (2 hours and a brutal 2000 steps up) if you're feeling fit!
There are also many great vantage points along the road to Mt Cook and on a still day when Lake Pukaki is calm and showing off its incredible aqua colour Peter's Lookout is a great place to capture both the lake and mountain in frame.
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