New Zealand Mountain Climbing

Sure, the New Zealand mountains are impressive when you are just looking at them, but imagine the views from the top of one. New Zealand mountain climbing is one of the more technical and difficult adventure activities in the country, but once you summit, all that hard work pays off. If you want to go mountain climbing in New Zealand, you can head to either the North Island or the South Island to find challenging climbs. There aren't too many easy climbs here, if any, so unless you're an experienced climber, you might stick to hiking, which is extremely rewarding in its own rite. While rock climbing can also be enjoyed in New Zealand, it's generally not as good as the mountain climbing is, though you can certainly find some spots to test your skill and will.

Mount Tasman

Mount Tasman
Mount Tasman

The New Zealand mountains are some of the most beautiful in the world. In fact, New Zealand's Mount Tasman is considered by some to be the world's best looking mountain. It's surely something to behold, let alone climb. When you consider that 75% of New Zealand's land surface is either hilly or mountainous, you begin to understand why mountain climbing in New Zealand is such a popular pursuit. The New Zealand mountains on the North Island are smaller than those on the South Island, and there is really only one major range that extends here from Wellington on north to the East Cape. This range is home to Mount Ruapehu, which at just over 9,000 feet is the tallest point on the North Island. On the South Island, just south of Christchurch, Mount Cook tops all the New Zealand mountains when it comes to altitude, as it reaches some 12,300 feet into the sky. Mount Cook is found in the Southern Alps, which basically run the length of the South Island's west coast. These are the best New Zealand mountains for those who want to do some serious climbing. Hiking is more common at Mount Ruapehu, with occasional moments where you might need to strap on some crampons.

Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook National Park
Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook is easily one of the more popular places to enjoy New Zealand mountain climbing at its best. Climbers heading here generally base at Mount Cook village, where you'll find guides and tour companies that can help you arrange your climb. Of course, chances are you've probably already arranged it ahead of time. Mount Cook rests within the borders of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, where you'll find more than 140 peaks that soar higher than 6,500 feet. Mount Tasman, which is the country's second-highest peak at some 11,470 feet, is found on the border of Mount Cook National Park and Westland National Park, and as mentioned earlier, it's quite the looker. It's a classic snow and ice ridge climb on this one, which is parlance that avid climbers will understand. Both Mount Cook and Mount Tasman have climbing huts one them where you can seek shelter or relax. As you can probably guess, the weather can shift at a moment's notice when you are mountain climbing in New Zealand, so you'll certainly be mindful of that. Sometimes, bad weather can push your climb back, so also be ready for that.

Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park
Mount Aspiring National Park

If you want to do hit some New Zealand mountains that aren't in Mount Cook National Park, you can head further south to Mount Aspiring National Park, which is home to the aptly-named Mount Aspiring. After a two-day hike to Collin Todd Hut, you can rest up and get ready to make your assault on the summit. Dedicated rock climbers who want to enjoy their favorite pastime in New Zealand can consider a trip to Queenstown and Wanaka on the South Island, where places like Treble Cone are fun to explore.

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