Sir Edmund Hillary Museum, New Zealand


Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at Aoraki Mt. Cook Inspires, Gives Glimpse into Hillary’s Character

Hillary Museum in NZ

By Randall Richards
We passed through the Aoraki Mt. Cook area, on New Zealand’s South Island, and made our way through the fancy Hermitage Hotel to find the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. I knew of Hillary the climber, but the display, video presentations, memorabilia and photos portrayed a humble man with astounding climbing ability, a self depreciating style and sense of humor.

He was the first to reach Everest’s summit for a reason. His solid climbing skills, drive and competitiveness all put him in the position with Tenzing Norgay to be the first summiteers on Chomulungma.

Multimedia Displays, with Norgay/Hillary

The reason this story made its way onto this blog, is he seemed to have also been truly a nice guy.  He was loved by his fellow Kiwis. He took care to leave the world a better place than he found it by creating a foundation that built schools and educated those in the Everest region.  One leaves with a good feeling about Sir Ed, after strolling among old photos, his book collection and accounts of his relationships with family, friends and of course his sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
I have a greater respect for Mr. Hillary after having learned more about him at this Alpine Centre Museum dedicated to his life and acheivements.

From the Centre’s Website:

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”

Hillary, His Early Days

“A tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world’s greatest explorers, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region, its people and its place in the universe.

Designed to educate and entertain, the centre features a spectacular state-of-the-art 3D movie, New Zealand’s first full dome digital Planetarium and Museum which documents the pioneering heart of the region and features the impressive Hillary Gallery.

The Hillary Gallery depicts Sir Edmund’s longstanding connection with the region and touches upon his achievements, expeditions and life’s work.  It was here he climbed his first major mountain, achieved a number of impressive first ascents including the difficult south face of Mount Cook, and trained for his Everest and Antarctic expeditions.

Located adjacent to The Hermitage Hotel in the majestic Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is an opportunity to explore and connect to the national identity and celebrate the cultural characteristics New Zealanders hold dear.”


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