Leaving Tekapo at 8:30am we hit the road to Mount Cook National Park. As we arrived the Mount Cook peak was just peeping up out of the early morning mist and cloud - it's shining, jagged and snow covered peak towering dramatically. Armed with snacks, water and sunscreen we headed off for our hike.
A short walk to the bridge lookout revealed a gorge with wild water rushing through and churning up around the rocks - workman balanced on the wooden bridge which was closed for repair so we detoured to the Tasman Glacier and I'm so pleased we did. The jetty walk gave us views over a beautiful lake which 20 years ago had not been in existence. The Tasman glacier pushing and grinding through the mountains had left in its wake a scattering of giant white icebergs against a turquoise blue lake and framed by towering and jagged grey rocks. Kayakers looked miniscule and paddled right up to the giant icebergs giving us a sense of the sheer scale of the landscape before us. We went on to the blue lakes and as we sat watching the water devouring our sandwiches far too early the silence was broken by the boom of an avalanche higher up in the peaks. Spring snow melt caused water to rush from numerous cracks and crevices high in the hills all joining into the river and creating many beautiful waterfalls or our viewing. The final hike to the peak was worth it and once we reached the top we sat silently, awestruck by the amazing view of the Tasman glacier - dirty from it's forceful pathway through the mountains. The Tasman Glacier is currently shrinking but may grow again in the future with a prolonged cold spell. From the peak we gazed out over the volcanic looking landscape and recalled the battle scene from the Lord of the Rings movie which was filmed right here (Misty Mountains)