Maori call this vast alpine wilderness, Ka Tiritiri o Te Moana, which means “Steep Peak of Glistening White.” The jagged mountain peaks of the Southern Alps rise sharply from the valley and are dusted with clean white snow that sparkles in the sunlight.
The park was established in 1929, but it was first surveyed in 1864 when Arthur Dobson was looking for a mountain pass where he could build a road to the Goldfields of West Canterbury. When the rail tunnel was built in 1923, it was the longest in the British Commonwealth.
There are many ways to explore this wild and beautiful park - whether you are driving along the incredibly scenic Great Alpine Highway or riding on the iconic TranzAlpine railway.
You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking - there are countless trails leading to lookout points, lush waterfalls and mountain meadows strewn with pale wildflowers. From short 30 minute walks to longer day tramps into the backcountry, there’s a trail for everyone.