Published: January 20th 2013December 21st 2012
So after all the relaxing in Lake Tekapo we headed back on the road in search of Mt.Cook the highest mountain in Australasia. The scenery on the drive here was fantastic it was just such a pity that when we reached the first look out of Mt.Cook which is at Lake Pukaki it was very cloudy so we could not get a great view and the camera did not pick up the amazing turquoise blue colour of the lake.
We headed on down to the base of Mt.Cook and took a look around the famous Hermitage hotel, which has a museum dedicated to Sir Edmond Hillary a New Zealand native who was the first man to climb Mt. Everest and he climbed Mt.Cook many times in preparation for his Everest climb. We then parked the van in the DOC campsite and headed off on our first of many walks around this area. We walked the Hooker Valley Track which takes 3 hours and takes you through some stunning scenery, fantastic views of the Hooker Glacier and across 2 magnificent swing bridges.
We both really enjoyed the walk but the weather really does change very quickly! We
began the walk in our fleeces and walking trousers, half way through we had to strip of the layers and put sunblock on, then on our way back we had to put all d layers back on again including raincoats as it got so windy and the rain began to pour!! We were both in need of a nap when we got back haha! We just chilled in the DOC campsite that evening as we were pretty tired.
DOC Department of Conservation campsites are all over both the south and north islands and provide you with basic camping facilities such as running water and toilets and shelter for a very small fee. They are usually set in National Parks a good bit out from any town, a good base for walking though.
The following morning we woke up to the sun shining and fantastic views of the snow capped Mt. Cook from our van which was beautiful!! We headed off up a short 30 min walk to a lookout called Kea Point which gave us even better views of Mt. Cook and the Mueller glacier. Then we drove back to the hermitage hotel and treated ourselves to yummy
tea and chocolate cake on the sun deck just taking in the scenery. After this we headed down the 5k unsealed road (which was an expeerience in the van) to walk to a look out point to get some views of the Tasman Glacier. The sun was really shining on us now and the climb up was pretty tough but well worth the views, even if the glacier is just like a big mound of mud haha we could see blocks of ice floating around the blue lakes which was pretty cool :)
That evening we drove to a small town called Twizel and parked in a beautiful holiday park. We headed out for drinks in the sunshine in a lovely bar in town which was a great end to a busy day!!
Hope your all keeping well!!
Ian & Laura xxxx
There are more photos below