Aoraki/Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, reaching 3,754 metres. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. A popular tourist destination, it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers. Aoraki/Mount Cook consists of three summits lying slightly south and east of the main divide, the Low Peak, Middle Peak and High Peak, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the Hooker Glacier to the west.
The mountain is in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, which was gazetted in 1953 and along with Westland National Park, Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park forms one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The park contains more than 140 peaks standing over 2,000 metres and 72 named glaciers, which cover 40 percent of the park's 700 square kilometres.