Canterbury, New Zealand
National Parks

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Canterbury, New Zealand National Parks

Mount Cook: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Alpine Landing

1. Mount Cook: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Alpine Landing

Experience Mount Cook National Park from the sky. Enjoy a 25-minute scenic adventure that includes an alpine landing amongst the mountains. Have exceptional views of Aoraki (Mt Cook) and the surrounding snow-capped mountain ranges right from take off.  Be captivated throughout the entire flight. Explore the valleys and peaks of the national park. Journey through the Tasman Valley and over a breathtaking blue glacier lake. Experience an alpine landing on the stunning upper snowfields in the Southern Alps.  Disembark the aircraft and enjoy the elevated alpine landscape before returning to the helicopter to fly back to Mount Cook Airport. Your expert pilot will offer informative and interesting commentary throughout the flight to ensure you receive the best possible experience.

Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

2. Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience dramatic glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful alpine walks on a small-group day trip from Christchurch. After pick-up from your hotel, journey to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, located a 4 hours' drive through spectacular and breathtaking landscapes. Visit the historic town of Geraldine. Then discover the heart of Mackenzie Country, the captivatingly turquoise Lake Tekapo, the iconic Church of Good Shepherd, and the well-recognized statue of Sheepdog. Travel through Lake Pukaki and admire stunning views of Mt. Cook from a distance. Enjoy a short scenic hike in the National Park to view the 23.5kms long Tasman Glacier which is the longest glacier in New Zealand. On your return journey, visit the Alpine Lavender Farm and capture some beautiful moments in the pristine environment.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

3. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

At 3724m, Aoraki/Mt Cook is by no means among the world’s tallest but with the nearby Mt Cook village just 750m above sea-level, the mountain can be viewed without any acclimatization whatsoever, and so this tour is perfect for people of all levels of fitness. The guided tour begins with pickups in Queenstown and Frankton, before you then travel through the stunning Kawarau gorge to Cromwell. After making a comfort stop in the quaint township of Omarama (where you have the option to taste one of the best creamy chicken pies in New Zealand), you climb your way through Lindis Pass, one of only 3 alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. As you exit the Pass, you may catch glimpses of the mighty mountain itself; but before arriving there is much more to see, including what many consider one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Lake Pukaki is one of the bluest lakes you will ever see, and is framed by the backdrop of Aoraki and its brothers in the Southern Alps. The location of several scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lake Pukaki is a destination in and of itself. You soon pass the delta where the mountain’s various rivers, creeks and streams converge to form the lake, and the mountain continues to grow steadily in stature and grandeur until the shear scale of the view makes you feel powerless. Arriving at the alpine village of Mt Cook and the Hermitage - home of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - you now have the freedom to explore in whatever way suits your energy levels and budget. Please select the activity you would like to include during the booking process, which are at an additional charge.

Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

4. Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

Experience the South Island's remarkable natural landscapes by taking a journey on a train from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass, which is considered one of the world's greatest train journeys for the scenery it passes. Enjoy breathtaking views of Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, ice-fed Waimakariri River, lush beech forests, and stunning landscapes. Explore walking tracks in Arthur's Pass National Park with spectacular mountain views & pristine waterfalls. Capture mirror images at Lake Pearson & wander through the majestic limestone boulders at Castle Hill. A perfect day trip for nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers.

Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

5. Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

Soak up panoramic views of the Southern Alps and glaciers reflecting on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika on this 2-hour scenic cruise. The lake was created by the Franz Josef Glacier as it retreated 14,000 years ago and now sits calm and reflective between the Southern Alps and the sea. Meet your experienced skipper and small group at the office in Franz Josef and take a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Board the boat, then sit back and relax onboard the Hanna-k in the comfortable enclosed cabin or on the covered back deck. Your skipper will take you through to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary on the far shorelines of the lake and will help you spot New Zealand's native birds. Enjoy informative commentary and fascinating stories as you cruise past untouched Jurassic rainforest and 900-year-old Kahikatea trees. Sip on a cup of complimentary tea or coffee as you unwind in beautiful Glacier Country, a picture perfect way to escape the crowds and enjoy the West Coast’s scenery.

Aoraki Mt/Cook & Tasman Glacier: Scenic Flight

6. Aoraki Mt/Cook & Tasman Glacier: Scenic Flight

Discover the real highlights of the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park on this helicopter tour. Soar high above, get breathtaking views and fly the full length of the Tasman Glacier. Fly close to the mountain peaks, and view this incredible alpine region. You will also get amazing views of New Zealand’s highest peak - Aoraki /Mt Cook. Admire hanging glaciers, blue ice, and rocky mountain peaks, with photo opportunities in every direction. Hover over the Tasman Glacier to appreciate the size and scale of New Zealand’s longest “river of ice”, before snow landing on the magnificent Tasman Glacier. Your pilot may shut off the helicopter so you can experience the "sound of silence”.

Mount Cook: 55-Minute Aoraki Scenic Helicopter Flight

7. Mount Cook: 55-Minute Aoraki Scenic Helicopter Flight

This helicopter tour is the ultimate way to view the summit of New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook, and the spectacular scenery in the surrounding national park. Experience a snow landing high up on on the Tasman Glacier and stand amongst the natural silence of this very special place. View hanging glaciers, spectacular rivers of ice and the otherwordly blue of deep ice crevasses. On a clear day you will also be able to admire the views of the incredible West Coast and wild Tasman Sea from your seat. The helicopter will provide a “birds eye” view of both sides of the South Island.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

8. From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

Visit breathtaking locations in Queenstown as you make your way to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Travel with a reliable tour guide who will share stories and rich background knowledge on Queenstown and the Mount Cook area. Start your tour in the stunning city of Queenstown. Drive through the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and marvel at the scenery the Kawarau Gorge has to offer. Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to take photos of your stunning view. Then, enter the region of Cromwell, famous for fruits and wine and where you can see huge fields of vines. Next, traverse the majestic Lindis Pass which lies between two valleys against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. This stretch of highway is one of the only three Alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. After taking photos at the top of the pass, drive through the Mackenzie District and visit the township of Omarama. Turning west, you'll enter Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, and Lake Pukaki will emerge in front of you. Proceed to the start of the Hooker Valley Track and depart on a 3-hour self-guided hike with amazing views of Hooker Lake, Hooker Glacier, and Mount Cook. Finish your tour by visiting High Country Salmon as you make your way back to Queenstown.

Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

9. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

Mount Cook: 30-Minute Ski Plane Flight with West Coast Views

10. Mount Cook: 30-Minute Ski Plane Flight with West Coast Views

Take off from Mount Cook Airport, a 5-minute drive from Mt Cook village. Enjoying all that the surrounding area has to offer from the air. During a 30-minute flight, see all the main geographic features in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Circumnavigate Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest peak at 12,349 feet and the center of the national park. See the longest glacier in NZ, the Tasman, on the eastern side of the main divide. Cross the main divide to the West Coast and take in the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Then, circle back onto the eastern side of the Southern Alps into the Hooker Valley before returning back into the Tasman valley to land back where you started.

Frequently asked questions about Canterbury, New Zealand National Parks

What are other things to do than National Parks that are worth visiting in Canterbury, New Zealand?

The other unmissable things to do in Canterbury, New Zealand are:

Which Canterbury, New Zealand National Parks are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Canterbury, New Zealand

Want to discover all there is to do in Canterbury, New Zealand? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Canterbury, New Zealand

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 15 reviews

My daughter and I took a scenic flight during the school holidays. The communication with us to book our flight was brilliant and text messages were responded to straight away. Everything was super efficient and we were made to feel like valued customers. Our pilot was very experienced and gave us an experience that was genuine, informative and nothing short of outstanding. My daughter wants to be a pilot now!! I can highly recommend this operation.

Outstanding! On a perfect day we enjoyed the cruise and beauty of Lake Mapourika while learning of its history and natural surroundings. Magnificent views of the mountains and glaciers were mirrored in the serene waters. Jake was interesting and informative. Just do it! A photo album of wonderful memories.

This was a magical experience which we would recommend to anyone. Pilot was knowledgable and informative. Still buzzing from the experience A must do!

The weather was perfect for our flight. Our pilot was friendly and knowledgeable. An absolute highlight of our trip around the South Island. Stunning.

The views were breathtaking and our tour guided Anuj was very knowledgeable and accomodating. Highly recommended.