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Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

Terrace Road, Mount Cook, 8770

The Basics

Considered to be the father of New Zealand mountaineering, Hillary was an adventurer with an incredible career. Learn about his story and see photos and gear from his expeditions—including one of the tractors his party used to conquer Antarctica—in the center’s museum. Then head to the center’s cinema and planetarium for some exclusive documentaries: Soar across Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in the 3D film Mount Cook Magic, and see stars and universes in the cutting-edge digital-dome planetarium.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is ideal for adventure and mountaineering buffs.

  • Admission is discounted for children aged 4 to 14.

  • Ticket holders can explore the center and see its movies any time during a 48-hour period, so you don’t have to blaze through everything all at once.

  • The center’s documentaries are available in English, Japanese, and Mandarin.

  • If you’re staying at the Hermitage Hotel, visit the center during your downtime and then dine in one of the hotel’s many restaurants.

  • The center is accessible to wheelchair users.

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How to Get There

The Alpine Centre is located on the Hermitage Hotel grounds at the top of Aoraki/Mount Cook Village. Between September and June, take a Cook Connection shuttle from Tekapo or Twizel straight to the village. In winter, the drive from Queenstown along State Highway 8 takes three to four hours.

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When to Get There

The center is generally open from 7:30am to 9:30pm; seasonal hours vary. Check the Hermitage Hotel’s website for documentary and planetarium timetables, and try and organize your trip for a time when the weather forecasts are good—the stargazing tours are held only on clear nights.

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World’s Largest Dark Sky Reserve

Take advantage of the national park’s clear and unpolluted night sky on a stargazing tour. Start with a trip through our universe in the planetarium and then drive out to the outdoor stargazing area in Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, the world’s largest dark sky reserve, where you can explore the stars with telescopes or binoculars.

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