Aoraki Mount Cook

This 50 km drive along Mount Cook Road, State Highway 80, and Milford Road to Milford Sound is probably the highlight of driving tours around New Zealand. Driving below the Ben Ohau Range along Lake Pukaki and down the valley towards Aoraki is stunning, especially in winter (or anytime after snow), so long as you can see the mountains! As you approach the end of the road, Aoraki looms up and provides dream photo ops for Instagrammers.

Once you are there, stay a night or two. There are several options, from camping to the Hermitage Hotel, which has a nice museum commemorating Sir Edmund Hillary's life.

Then go walking. These range from the short and easy such as the Tasman Glacier, a half-day hike in the Hooker Valley, to more hardcore climbs into the surrounding mountains with views to die for.

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